Northern China covered in floating sand and dust

BEIJING: Many neighborhoods in northern china were covered in floating sand and dust on Thursday, and a sandstorm is expected to sweep through parts of Inner Mongolia.
Sandy, dusty weather and strong winds will last through Sunday, the National Meteorological Center said in a statement, adding that the public should take precautionary measures to guard against poor air quality.
She renewed a blue alert for sandstorms – the least severe warning from the country’s four-tier weather warning system – and forecast that more than a dozen regions, including major cities like Beijing and Shanghai, would see some areas hit by sand and dust floating Thursday.
The center’s chief forecaster, Gui Hailinsaid earlier that the sandy and dusty weather started Sunday in southern Mongolia.
As the cold air moved south, the weather spread to various regions including northern and northeast China, he said.
In Beijing, buildings and traffic were obscured by low visibility. The IQAir website showed an air quality index of 540 for the capital and called its level of air pollution “hazardous”.
The Beijing Municipal Ecological and Environmental Monitoring Center issued the highest air pollution warning.
Running enthusiast Tu Jiaxian said the sandstorm had a “huge impact” on her life as it interrupted her marathon training plans.
“I want to run but I don’t dare to run because of the weather. It’s very painful,” Tu said, adding that she had given up her daily 10-kilometre (6.2-mile) jogs for three days this week due to weather.
Cao Yuanyuan, a newcomer to Beijing, was surprised at first to see the blurry scenes and took photos of them. But bad weather forced her to wear goggles for protection and to keep her bedroom windows closed.
“But there’s still sand coming in, and I can smell the dirt,” Cao said.

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