​Beijing Slammed by Sandstorm, PM10 Levels Soar Above 1,000

By Valerie Osipov, March 28, 2018

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Smog isn't the only thing clouding the Beijing skyline today. A sandstorm reached the capital early Wednesday morning, filling the air with hazardous levels of dust particles. 

Beijing Sandstorm
Image via Netease

Beijing Sandstorm Contributes to Worst AQI of 2018
Image via Instagrammer @xiaotongishere

Image via WeChat
Image via WeChat

Image via WeChat
Image via WeChat

Tending to sweep in from the Gobi desert in Mongolia, which is no stranger to sandstorms such as this one, the natural hazard bumped up the air quality index (AQI) to highly unhealthy levels.

The city's AQI had already been on orange alert for several days due to smog. Readings as of noon today showed that PM2.5 levels reached 138 micrograms per cubic meter while PM10 levels soared to 1,264, according to AirVisual.

Beijing Sandstorm Contributes to Worst AQI of 2018

These levels exceeded Beijing's previous sandstorm on May 4 of last year and are in the running of being some of the highest the city has experienced. Residents are highly advised to keep their masks handy and stay indoors as much as possible during this time.

As expected, humorous memes were circulating on social media today following the sandstorm. Here's a selection of our favorites:

Beijing Sandstorm Contributes to Worst AQI of 2018

Beijing Sandstorm Contributes to Worst AQI of 2018

Beijing Sandstorm Contributes to Worst AQI of 2018

[Images via Netease@xiaotongishere, Airvisual, WeChat]

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