Third wave of sandstorms sweep northern China

2024-03-28 08:58:38Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Outdoor sports activities were stopped at schools in Beijing while classes, production and transportation were suspended in Xilin Gol League in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Wednesday as sandstorms brought about by a cold front that started affecting a vast area of northern China since Tuesday are expected to affect 13 provinces and municipalities including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei Province, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region until Thursday evening. 

On Wednesday morning, China's National Meteorological Center (NMC) issued a yellow alert for sandstorms, warning of sand or dust weather in multiple places across China due to the impact of a cold front and strong winds. 

This is the third dust weather process that has affected China since the beginning of this year, as well as the first dust and sandstorm in this spring that spread into China through cross-border transmission, according to the Weather China website. 

The NMC issued another yellow alert for sandstorms on Wednesday evening, warning of the impact of the sandstorms could last till Thursday evening with some places in the middle part of Inner Mongolia expecting to suffer from strong sandstorms. 

The Beijing Meteorological Service also issued a blue alert for wind and sandstorms on Wednesday. In response to the windy and sandstorm weather, the local education authorities in the Chinese capital have required relevant departments to take actions to cope with extreme weather conditions. 

According to the announcement, outdoor gatherings and outdoor sports activities were suspended in Beijing and the local students and teachers were suggested to minimize outdoor activities as much as possible. The education authorities said that they would release security messages to popularize the knowledge of sandstorms. 

In Sonid Right Banner in Xilin Gol League, Innor Mongolia, a red alert – the highest level for sandstorms – was issued at 11:51 am by the local meteorological authority, who urged  local residents to take measures in response to the extreme weather. The local government also took emergency measures including suspending classes, production and transportation. 

As of Wednesday noon, the concentration of PM10 in Xilin Gol League had reached 1,099 micrograms per cubic meter and the minimum visibility was 88 meters. 

Due to the impact of the cold front, some places across the country including parts of Shandong, Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu and Hubei will suffer from heavy fog from Wednesday evening till Thursday morning, with visibility dropping to below 200 meters in some places such as the southern part of Shandong and the northern parts of Anhui and Jiangsu provinces. 

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