The Chinese capital, Beijing, faced a second sandstorm this weekend with all sorts of horrific results emerging again. This time the sky is completely yellow and the sun is blue. The city’s air quality index currently exceeds 500, which is very harmful to human health.
While a previous sandstorm blanketed Beijing in a barely-orange glow two weeks ago, the city is now covered in an ominous yellow glow that turns the sun blue.
According to the Xinhua News Agency, the sandstorm is also sweeping in Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Tianjin, Hebei, Liaoning and Jilin provinces. Consequently, the storm is affecting a particularly large area in the Asian country.
The Beijing Met Office warned all 21.5 million residents of the city on Saturday to stay home this weekend if possible. In addition to extremely high levels of air pollution, there was also a risk of particularly strong winds blowing through the city.
The city’s air quality rose again above 500 on Sunday’s air pollution index. It had just fallen to an acceptable level after the sandstorm in mid-March. When the level is high, a large number of air pollution particles enter the lungs every hour.
According to the World Health Organization, humans should only absorb 25 micrograms of these particles per day. With an index level above 500, more than 200 micrograms of these particles end up in our lungs within 24 hours. So the situation in Beijing is very harmful to the health of the Chinese.
The blue sun
The strange side effects of the sandstorm have already spread on Chinese social media. Users of the Weibo platform (which we often incorrectly refer to as “Twitter of China”) have collectively shared images of the blue sun.
Wang Jie, chief executive of the Beijing Climate Center, said the two sandstorms were the worst in Beijing in at least a decade, and were extremely rare.