Beijing engulfed by third major dust storm in five weeks, China


China's capital Beijing has seen its third major dust storm in five weeks on Thursday, April 15, 2021. The storm is expected to continue in the coming days, affecting central and eastern China, according to the Guaizihu Meteorological Station.

Beijing's air quality index surged to 324 as of 08:00 UTC (16:00 LT) on Thursday, mainly due to larger particles of dust, reported the municipal authorities.

The situation worsened in the evening, with some parts of the city seeing an air quality index of more than 1 300, according to the Swiss IQAir.

The dust particles originated from Mongolia, and are expected to engulf central and eastern China by Friday, April 16, the Guaizihu Meteorological Station warned.

Compared to the two other similar events in March, the recent one has a higher wind speed, making the dust particles travel farther and faster.

"I don't feel good. We have had several dust storms this year," said resident Gary Zi. "The air quality is much worse than in previous years. Breathing becomes difficult. Sand gets into your eyes and your nose."

In a proposal to the parliament, delegates from the Gansu region said more than half o the dust storms that descend on China every year come from abroad, particularly from southern Mongolia.

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Featured image credit: Kathy Long


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