Beijingers woke up earlier today to find themselves trapped in yet another airpocalypse with air quality readings that literally went off the charts as a massive sandstorm enveloped China’s capital city, along with much of northern China.
Fine dust particles and sand swept in from the Gobi Desert caused the AQI readings in Beijing to soar as high as 905, a ludicrously high level even for Beijing. In China’s rather lenient air quality rating system, readings of over 300 are considered “hazardous” with residents warned to avoid “all outdoor exertion.” Beyond that, readings simply go “beyond index.”
— Chris Anderson (@chr1sa) May 4, 2017
— Mika Mäkeläinen (@Mikareport) May 4, 2017
— Joanna Chiu 趙淇欣 (@joannachiu) May 4, 2017
Now Beijing PM2.5 is 905 AQI 重汚染 – Hazardous (22℃ Sunny) pic.twitter.com/jX5olS2y68
— Beijing PM2.5 Report (@beijing_sky) May 4, 2017
Meanwhile, the WHO sets the recommended safety level of PM2.5 over a 24-hour period at 25 micrograms per cubic meter. Currently, Beijing’s AQI has dropped down to a mere 702. This year, the city has vowed to reduce its average PM2.5 level to 60, meaning that they are going to need quite a few “APEC Blue” sky days to balance this mess out.
Though, Beijingers should probably count themselves lucky, because air quality readings were actually even worse in other parts of northern China. A government survey earlier this year found that Beijing had the “cleanest air” in the region.
Dear Beijing: count your blessings? pic.twitter.com/aApEOaOu4r
— Nathan VanderKlippe (@nvanderklippe) May 4, 2017
Beijing’s weather bureau has issued a “blue alert” due to the sandstorm which is likely to last until Friday evening.
[Images via NetEase]
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