Massive sandstorm hits China’s Xinjiang, Qinghai
A major sandstorm has swept through China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province, causing severe air pollution.
On Sunday, high winds whipped up the sandstorm in Xinjiang’s Aksu Prefecture, dropping visibility to less than 900 meters.
The sandstorm has also disrupted road traffic and caused flight cancellations and delays.
In Korla County, the storm significantly slowed down traffic and caused residents to suffer breathing difficulties.
The local meteorological department said that the sandstorm is expected to last through Monday.
Another sandstorm coupled with winds of up to 70 kilometers per hour also hit Golmud County in Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai Province, disrupting traffic in several streets.
Local forecasters said that sandstorms and high winds are expected in multiple districts of the prefecture within the next 12 hours.
In recent years, China has seen extremely high levels of air pollution particularly in the northeast, the industrial heartland of the country.
Scientific studies attribute 1.4 million premature deaths per year to China’s smog, or almost 4,000 per day.