05/04/2017, 11.50
CHINA
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Dust and sand storm. Emergency in Beijing

The storm has enveloped a large area of ​​the country, from Xinjiang to Heilongjiang. Difficult conditions in Inner Mongolia. The atmospheric phenomenon began to move towards Beijing in the late afternoon of yesterday. PM2.5 at 500 micrograms per cubic meter, 20 times the maximum allowed. Authorities invite residents to avoid outdoor activities and stay home.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A dust and sand storm is suffocating a large part of northern China, including Beijing, in the latest air quality crisis that to hit the country.

State media quoting the city authorities say the dust storm has started moving toward Beijing late in the afternoon of yesterday and enveloped the city overnight. The sand is blown from neighboring Mongolia and the autonomous region of Chinese inner Mongolia.  Worsening this is the poor air quality due to the large use of coal for heating and in industries.

The dust storm is affecting, to a different extent, a vast area of ​​the country extending from the far western province of Xinjiang to eastern Heilongjiang, with Inner Mongolia facing quite difficult conditions.

In the capital the values ​​of air quality have fallen below the limit recommended by the World Health Organization (OMS). Authorities invite residents to avoid outdoor activities for children and the elderly to stay home.

The Beijing environmental agency has announced that from 11am this morning the PM2.5 values, which measure pollution in the form of highly breathable particles, are 500 micrograms per cubic meter. The WHO states that the maximum security level should be 25 micrograms per cubic meter.

The authorities have said that the storm would affect Beijing until this evening and the visibility will remain low throughout the day. 

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