In pictures: Beijing sandstorm turns sky orange

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On Monday, the Chinese capital of Beijing experienced what its weather bureau called the worst sandstorm in a decade.

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image captionThe storm caused an unprecedented spike in air pollution measurements, with levels in some districts at 160 times the recommended limit.
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image captionThe tops of tower blocks in the city were barely visible on Monday morning.
image copyrightAFP
image captionBeijing faces regular sandstorms in March and April due to its proximity to the Gobi desert.
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image captionCommuters wore protective masks as they left work in the Central Business District. The sand was brought in by strong winds from Inner Mongolia, where sandstorms have reportedly caused six deaths and left dozens missing.
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image captionSome commuters were seen with substantial masks and improvised face coverings.
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image captionHundreds of flights were cancelled or grounded as the sky was covered with an orange haze.
image copyrightReuters
image captionDespite the haze, one couple went ahead with a wedding photoshoot near the Forbidden City.
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image captionChina's Global Times media outlet reported that at least 12 provinces in the country, including the capital, had been affected.
image copyrightReuters
image captionThe sandstorms were expected to shift south towards the Yangtze River delta and should clear by Wednesday or Thursday, the environment ministry said.

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