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Beijing engulfed in yellow dust as authorities issue blue alert for sandstorms in central China

Beijing engulfed in yellow dust as authorities issue blue alert for sandstorms in central China
The Chinese capital has been engulfed by dust, accompanied by rain and thunder, with the Beijing Meteorological Observatory predicting the weather phenomenon could continue for a few more days.

Beijing residents have spoken of the deeply unpleasant mix of rain, thunder and sand which hit the capital on Thursday afternoon following a perfectly sunny morning. A number of the capital’s residents told local media that the mix of rain and sand meant everything was being covered in mud. 

“It's a sandstorm here in Beijing. What's hitting my phone is not rain, but dense mud,” one resident noted. Another netizen told local news: “This dust came from Inner Mongolia fast enough, and it entered Beijing in around two hours! It's much faster than the high speed. This rain, and the mud, it is dirty.” 

According to the official Weibo account of the capital’s airport, the weather is having an impact on air traffic in and out of Beijing. So far, six flights have been canceled and 579 flights have been delayed. 

On Wednesday evening, the Central Meteorological Station issued a blue alert for sandstorms in the country’s inner regions, including Xinjiang, Qinghai and Gansu. Beijing’s weather department followed suit on Thursday, issuing a blue alert as the dust hit the capital in the afternoon. 

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Authorities have issued a number of warnings for citizens, encouraging people to ensure windows and doors are closed as well as not leaving the house without a mask. 

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