Severe sandstorm plagues Beijing

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Beijing, Mar. 20 (ANI): A severe sandstorm hit Beijing on Friday night, packing the Chinese capital with strong winds and tonnes of sand.

On Saturday morning, the Beijing residents woke up to see clouds of yellow dust in the air. The loose soil covered Beijing's streets, covering parked vehicles, bikes, roofs and even plants and making its way into apartment buildings.

Before it arrived in Beijing, the sandstorm had wreaked havoc Friday in the northwestern provinces of Gansu and Qinghai, as well as the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

An official with Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau said the sandstorm arrived in Beijing at midnight and was moving towards the southeast.

"The maximum density of granule we observed as more than 1,500 microgrammes per cubic meter," Xinhua quoted Wang Xiaoming, as saying.

The density hovered above 1,000 mg per cubic meter in Beijing's city proper Saturday morning, causing serious pollution.

The weather bureau has ranked Saturday's air quality a rare level 5 on its website, meaning it was hazardous with pollution reading over 301. (ANI)

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