Sandstorm Chokes Northern China
(Beijing) — Air pollution in Beijing has once again hit serious levels as a sandstorm swept across northern China on Thursday, grounding dozens of flights at the world’s second-busiest airport.
Large amounts of dust blowing in on strong winds from the Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang regions will affect air quality and visibility in several provincial-level areas in northern China for 24 hours that began at 8 a.m. Thursday, according to the National Meteorological Center (NMC).
Beijing shrouded in dust in the early hours of May 4, as a result of a sand storm in neighboring Inner Mongolia. China’s National Meteorological Center issued a sandstorm alert Thursday morning warning that dusty weather would affect vast areas of northern China including Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Beijing over 24-hour period until 8 a.m. Friday. Photo: Visual China
High concentrations of the particulates can lead to lung cancer and other serious medical conditions such as strokes, research shows. PM10 particulates are those with a diameter of 2.5 to 10 micrometers, while PM2.5 particulates have a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less.
Over the past decades, fewer sandstorms have hit northern china, and they've also become less intense. But toxic emissions from factories and vehicles, as well as dust from construction sites, have worsened the region’s air pollution problem.
At least 65 flights in and out of Beijing Capital International Airport had been canceled by lunchtime on Thursday, according to the airport’s real-time flight data system.
A cloud of dust blanket the area near the Lishui bridge in the densely-populated Chaoyang District, Beijing, on May 4, 2017. Photo: Visual China
Contact reporter Li Rongde (email@example.com)
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