China’s capital was blanketed in thick brown dust this morning as heavy winds blew in from the Gobi desert and northwestern China.
The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has called it northern China’s most severe sandstorm in the past decade.
Image via @by2girl/Weibo
A yellow alert was issued this morning by the CMA, which said the sandstorm spread from Inner Mongolia into Beijing and neighboring provinces.
The doomsday-like sky has significantly reduced visibility in the capital, with dozens of flights grounded in Beijing and other cities in the region. Beijing residents have been urged to close doors and windows and wear protective gear when going outside.
In Mongolia, six were reported dead and 80 missing as a result of the sandstorm.
Sandstorm in Mongolia. Image via @央视新闻/Weibo
Beijing’s air quality index (AQI) was maxed out as of 1.45pm on Monday, with Beijing districts all recording hazardous levels of PM2.5 and PM10.
Screengrab via Aqicn.org
According to China’s environment ministry, the sandstorm is projected to move south towards the Yangtze River Delta and should clear out by Thursday at the latest, Reuters reports.
[Cover image via @十二妹妹_Ms/Weibo]