Air quality soars to hazardous level as sandstorm engulfs Beijing

The sandstorm oriented in Mongolia is the worst in almost a decade, said National Meteorological Center of CMA.

Beijing’s air quality index (AQI) soared to a hazardous level, severely polluted, on Monday morning as a sandstorm swept across the city, enveloping it in earthy yellow and reduced visibility down to less than a kilometer. Schools in Beijing were ordered not to organize outdoor activities.

The sandstorm oriented in Mongolia is the worst in almost a decade, said National Meteorological Center of CMA. It is gradually moving south with air current and will last for the rest of the day, the meteorological authority said.

The sandstorm will also sweep northern Chinese provinces including Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi and Shanxi. Most areas of Northeast China and Xinjiang will also choke in dust as the sandstorm passes by. 

Vehicles turn on headlight as they move slowly in dust under an elevated road in Xicheng District.
The view from a high-rise building in Fengtai District on Monday morning, skyscrapers are only faintly discernible.
The Beijing National Stadium, or Bird's Nest, is shrouded in dust and sand.
Commuters ride in heavy dust near Beijing Guozijian, the imperial academy, on Monday morning.
People all put on masks on Monday morning as sandstorm sweeps the city. The electronic screen announces weather forecast in Changping District, mentioning a sandstorm.
The AQI of Beijing soars to a hazardous level on March 15, as a sandstorm brings down visibility to less than a kilometer.
A dust removing vehicle is working on a street in Beijing.
Outside the entrance of Nanlishilu Station of Beijing Metro, the sky turns grey on Monday morning.
The television tower of CCTV is muffled by heavy dust.
People in Beijing brave the sandstorm on Monday morning.
In front of the Xihua Gate of the Forbidden City, a few people walk by with their faces hidden in masks.
A man in a mask walking on the bridge across the Forbidden City Moat on Monday morning, barely visible in sight is the turret of the Imperial Palace.
Wangjing in northeast Beijing chokes in dusts as sandstorm sweep the city.
The Linlong Tower in the Olympics Park is enveloped by dust and sand.

(Photo: VCG)