Sandstorm and pollution: suffocating cocktail in Beijing
Sylvie Claire / Mars 16, 2021
Beijingers woke up Monday in a thick yellowish fog as the Chinese capital was hit by a spectacular sandstorm, adding to man-made pollution.
The combination of the two phenomena produced a dangerous cocktail for the health and reduced the visibility to a few hundred meters.
The municipality has suspended all outdoor sports activities in schools and advised people with respiratory problems not to leave their homes
However, most of the inhabitants went to work with their heads well wrapped up, but some protected themselves behind protective glasses.
The emblematic buildings of the city were difficult to see, like the headquarters of the national television, whose summit (234 meters) disappeared behind a veil of fog.
On the social network Weibo, the subject was massively discussed by Internet users. This orange sandstorm looks like the end of the world, said one user.
Sandstorms, originating from the nearby Gobi Desert, are common in spring in northern China, but Beijingers have not seen such heavy skies for years.
The air quality was considered dangerous by the specialized site aqicn.org. The level of PM10 particles reached the limit of 999 in the early morning, a rate almost twenty times higher than the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). The level of PM2.5 particles, even more harmful, was 567, a level rarely reached in recent years in Beijing.
Extreme pollution episodes have become less frequent in recent years in the Chinese capital, as the fight against pollution has become a major issue for the country