Beijing, November 26: A massive sandstorm engulfed a northwest city of China. The sandstorm sparked a fire in many rural areas, while it disrupted the traffic in the city. Strong winds and a towering ‘sand wall’ of almost 100 metres hit the northwestern city of Zhangye. In the video shown by the state broadcaster CCTV, a grey wall of sand hitting Zhangye City in Gansu province on November 25. Due to this, the city was covered by a yellow fog and citizens were forced to cover their faces. According to reports, visibility also went below 100m in some parts of the city. To ensure the safety of the commuters, the police were deployed along the expressways. Trees in Beijing Grew Faster and Strong During Most Polluted Years, Study Finds!
A fire was sparked in the rural areas, as heavy winds made heating kindle to blow onto haystacks. Fire crews were also sent to douse burning haystacks. Authorities have issued an advisory in the city asking the residents to take precautions as there is a risk of fire due to a dry weather. Sandstorms are very common in a dry season. In this season winds blow loose and dry soil and sand from the Gobi desert into various parts of the cities. Due to the storm people outside ran for cover into the nearest buildings. As Cape Town Stares 'Day Zero', Beijing Records Longest Dry Spell in 47 Years.
Meanwhile, Beijing was on Monday was covered in a thick smog, due to which people were forced to wear protective face masks. As per the air quality monitoring website aqicn.org, Levels of small particle matter, known as PM 2.5, floated around at an alarming 360 mark during the afternoon which is nearly 15 times higher than the World Health Organization's recommendation of daily maximum exposure. According to Xinhua, Beijing is likely to hit by a sandstorm from the northwest.