Sandstorm blankets huge area of China in dusty pollution

Sandstorm blankets huge area of China in dusty pollution

BEIJING — A sandstorm blown by gusting winds enveloped a huge area of central and northern China on Thursday in thick pollution hazardous to people venturing outdoors.

The Beijing Meteorological Observatory advised people to minimize time spent outdoors and forecast that the murky conditions would linger into Friday morning.

Tens of millions of residents across eight provinces and autonomous regions and in municipal Beijing were told to use masks or scarves when outside to protect their eyes and lungs. The low visibility prompted warnings for drivers to slow down and for airports to take precautions.

Beijing’s air quality index topped 800 in some areas, on a scale ranking anything above 150 as unhealthy for the general population.

The sandstorms begin in areas such as Inner Mongolia where overgrazing and deforestation have increased desert areas. Strong winds pick up loose dust and dirt, mixing them with industrial pollution.

Grit from the storms can travel as far as the western United States.

The Associated Press

Just Posted

Saanich brings Uptown-Douglas Corridor draft plan to the public

Feedback from residents will help finalize the plan

Some 5,000 residents on the Saanich Peninsula have signed up for alert system

Sidney hosts Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Exhibition Friday

Residents say Monday’s fatal crash in Saanich wasn’t unexpected

Speed has long been a concern for neighbours in the Cumberland and Union roads area

B.C. population on pace to fall behind Alberta

Provincial population could reach almost seven million in 2043, but Alberta is growing faster

‘It’s almost surreal’: B.C. fire chief, sidekick Sammy recap rescue mission in Bahamas

Chief Larry Watkinson and Sam the disaster dog spent 8 days assisting a search and rescue team

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re ‘stepping away’ from ice dancing

The pair thank fans for their support in an emotional message

Kamloops high school evacuated after receiving threat

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Woman held at gunpoint during carjacking in UBC parkade

University RCMP say the vehicle is still missing, and two suspects are at large

VIDEO: Angry B.C. cyclist starts shaming dangerous drivers online

‘You motorists deserve all your costs and misery’

‘Time to take action:’ Children advocates call for national youth suicide strategy

Council wants Ottawa to make reporting of suicides and attempted suicides mandatory for data collection

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher

Most Read