(ORDO NEWS) — On Monday, the Chinese capital and much of the country’s north were hit by the worst sandstorm in a decade, resulting in the cancellation of hundreds of flights.
The skyscrapers in downtown Beijing seemed to disappear from sight among the dust and sand. Traffic was difficult and more than 400 flights from the capital’s two main airports were canceled before noon.
Such storms occurred regularly in the spring, when sand from the western deserts blew eastward, hitting areas as far as northern Japan. bushes in vulnerable areas have reduced the intensity of storms, but the expansion of cities and industries is putting constant pressure on the environment across China.
The National Meteorological Center predicted that sand and dust would affect 12 provinces and regions from Xinjiang in the far northwest to Heilongjiang in the northeast and the eastern coastal port city of Tianjin.
“This is the strongest sandstorm our country has seen in 10 years. “It is unclear if the hurricane was linked to a recent general deterioration in air quality despite efforts to end the suffocating smog in Beijing,” the center said on its website.
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