For the second straight day a massive sandstorm has enveloped China, plunging one-sixth of the country into hazy darkness.
China’s weather bureau has called the sandstorm the strongest in two years, prompting health warnings and alerts across northern China as dust and sand from the Gobi Desert blankets 1.6 million square kilometers. Yesterday, the AQI in Beijing hit 905, a ludicrously high level that was somehow even lower than areas in surrounding Hebei and Shandong provinces which saw PM10 levels soar over 1,000.
The massive sandstorm caused over 100 flights to be canceled or delayed at Beijing’s airport as heavy winds ripped through the city with flying debris injuring pedestrians.
While air pollution remained high in Beijing earlier this morning, the skies have since relatively cleared up with a 176 AQI reading at 3:00 p.m., which is only about twice as worse as normal.
But that’s because the sandstorm is currently headed south, straight for Shanghai. Already the AQI is up to 147. Municipal authorities have urged residents to close their windows and wear face masks if they have to venture outside. The moderate to heavy pollution is expected to last until Sunday. Oh joy.
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