cloudyn.png
Monday December 6th, 2021 7:39PM

Flights canceled during China's worst sandstorm in a decade

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BEIJING (AP) — China’s capital and a wide swath of the country's north were enveloped Monday in the worst sandstorm in a decade, forcing the cancelation of hundreds of flights.

Skyscrapers in the center of Beijing appeared to drop from sight amid the dust and sand. Traffic was snarled and more than 400 flights out of the capital's two main airports were canceled amid high winds and low visibility.

The National Meteorological Center said Monday's storm had developed in the Gobi Desert in the Inner Mongolia Region, where schools had been advised to close and bus service added to reduce residents' exposure to the harsh conditions.

Such storms used to occur regularly in the springtime as sand from western deserts blew eastwards, affecting areas as far as northern Japan.

Massive planting of trees and bushes in fragile areas has reduced the effects on other parts of the country in recent years, but the expansion of cities and industries, along with strip mining and overgrazing, has put constant pressure on the environment throughout China. With its mix of desert and grassy steppe, Inner Mongolia is particularly prone to extreme weather resulting from resource exploitation.

Like COVID-19, which is believed to have spread from bats and other wild animals, sandstorms are a reminder of the need to respect nature, said Zhou Jinfeng, secretary general of the conservation group China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation.

“Together with the pandemic, that’s another big lesson we should take and we should change our behavior," Zhou said.

The National Meteorological Center forecasted the sand and dust would affect 12 provinces and regions from Xinjiang in the far northwest to Heilongjiang in the northeast and the eastern coastal port city of Tianjin.

“This is the most intense sandstorm weather our country has seen in 10 years, as well as it covering the broadest area," the center said in a post on its website.

It wasn't clear if the storm was related to a recent general decline in air quality despite efforts to end Beijing's choking smog.

The ruling Communist Party has pledged to reduce carbon emissions per unit of economic output by 18% over the next five years. Environmentalists say China needs to do more to reduce dependency on coal that has made it the world's biggest emitter of climate changing gasses.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Flights canceled during China's worst sandstorm in a decade
China's capital Beijing has been enveloped in the worst sandstorm in a decade, along with a wide swath of the country's north
12:42AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Biden, Harris and others to promote relief plan's benefits
President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses are opening a cross-country tour this week to highlight the benefits of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan
12:39AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Who run the Grammys? Women. Beyoncé, Swift make history.
Female performers including Beyoncé and Taylor Swift had a record-making night at the 2021 Grammy Awards, a jam-packed but socially distanced show highlighted by live music sorely absent during the pandemic era
12:38AM ( 29 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Mexico's president knocks US over vaccines
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has taken a dig at the U.S. government, saying the United States has not helped Mexico with coronavirus vaccines
10:43PM ( 2 hours ago )
Martial law imposed in parts of Myanmar city as deaths rise
Myanmar’s ruling junta has declared martial law in parts of the country’s largest city as security forces killed more protesters in an increasingly lethal crackdown on resistance to last month’s military coup
10:18PM ( 2 hours ago )
Brazil wonders about whereabouts of vaccine mascot
Rumors and conspiracy theories swirled this week regarding the whereabouts of Zé Gotinha, the mascot for Brazil's national vaccination program
6:20PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP World News
Who run the Grammys? Women. Beyoncé, Swift make history.
Female performers including Beyoncé and Taylor Swift had a record-making night at the 2021 Grammy Awards, a jam-packed but socially distanced show highlighted by live music sorely absent during the pandemic era
12:54AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Biden, Harris and others to promote relief plan's benefits
President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses are opening a cross-country tour this week to highlight the benefits of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan
12:39AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Flights canceled during China's worst sandstorm in decades
China's capital Beijing has been enveloped in the worst sandstorm in a decade, along with a wide swath of the country's north
12:27AM ( 40 minutes ago )
Amazin' at-bat: Mets' Guillorme draws 22-pitch walk vs Hicks
New York Mets backup Luis Guillorme had quite an at-bat in spring training Sunday
12:26AM ( 42 minutes ago )
Chinese single moms, denied benefits, press for change
Sarah Gao is a single mother in China who has been dealing with a court case since 2017 because she could not get her maternity benefits
12:22AM ( 45 minutes ago )