Beijing experienced its biggest sandstorm of the decade on Monday, March 15. This meteorological phenomenon was added to the contamination of human origin, which produced a dangerous cocktail for health and visibility reduced to a few hundred meters. Gobi desert sandstorms are common in spring in northern China. However, the Pekingese had not observed such a cloudy sky in years.
According to local authorities, in Mongolia, six people died as a result of this storm and 81 other people are missing. 350 flights from Beijing were canceled. The municipality of the Chinese capital, which has more than 20 million inhabitants, suspended all outdoor sports activities in schools. People with respiratory problems are advised not to leave their homes.
According to the website aqicn.org, air quality was deemed “dangerous”. First thing in the morning, the level of PM10 particles was almost twenty times higher than the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). The level of PM2.5 particles, which are even more harmful, has exceeded 560, a level rarely reached in recent years in Beijing.