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I could not see anything 50 meters in front of me
Posted On 04/27/2010 02:50:26 by cliviaa

Choking sandstorms, worsened by gale-force winds, swept through a huge swathe of the country's north and northwest regions over the weekend, leading to the closure of a major regional airport and causing deaths. Xining airport in Qinghai Province suspended all flights Sunday, including six to Yushu pre-fecture, the epicenter of a devastating earthquake almost two weeks ago, an airport spokesperson told the Xinhua News Agency. The closure temporarily severed the air transport of relief personnel and materials from the provincial capital Xining. Yao Honghua, a rescue worker with dog clothes, China International Search and Rescue, who was due back in Beijing from Yushu Sunday, told the Global Times that his flight had to be delayed and little immediate information was available on the resumption of air traffic in the region. "The visibility is very poor in the quake-hit region, and dog clothes the air is full of sand, making it difficult for quake survivors to stay outside," Yao said. Carried by strong winds reportedly reaching more than 28 meters per second (100 kilometers per hour), dust and sand took their toll on almost 7 million people maple story mesos, in the north and northwest, including the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, and Qinghai and maple story mesos Gansu provinces. A total of 900,000 hectares of crops were reportedly threatened. A strong gale, which lasted 15 hours, hit Turpan of Xinjiang starting Friday, leaving three people dead and one missing in a consequent fire and building collapses. The wind was the strongest ever recorded in the city, weather experts said. Television footage showed wow gold, dramatic images of the aftermath from the strong winds and sandstorms, including the collapse of houses and greenhouses in farmland. Residents were warned to stay indoors. The dust storm originated in east Xinjiang, a region wow gold that is notorious for desertification, according to the Central Meteorological Observatory (CMO). Zhang Baiping, a forecaster with the Meteorological Bureau of Turpan city in Xinjiang, told the Global Times that this was the most severe sandstorm in the region since 2005 in terms of wind speeds and duration. The Turpan Meteorological Bureau issued a gale warning through text messages to local residents. The blue-level warning implies world of warcraft gold that the wind's average intensity may reach "wind force 6" or above, and the gusts could top force 7. Fang Guodong, an employee with a local world of warcraft gold insurance company in Turpan, told the Global Times that his company had processed more than 30 claims reports as of Saturday right, after the storm ceased. "All claims were related to automobile insurance because many cars parked outside were smashed by objects blown up by the storm," he said. Meanwhile, visibility was reduced to almost zero in Gansu's Minqin County, and winds of up to 28 meters per second were recorded at 7:10 pm Saturday. Photos available online showed residents in Minqin County walking on streets and struggling against the sandstorms, hiding their heads in plastic bags. Local officials said that at least 13 fires had been reported, and power supplies were cut off in some areas. Zhang Tingjun, a taxi driver in Minqin, was one of the many residents frightened by the storm. "The sky turned almost dark. It was like the end of the universe. I could not see anything 50 meters in front of me. There are few pedestrians, and they all wear masks," he said. Some 1.7 million square world of warcraft power leveling, kilometers of deserts in the country are cited as the source of dust storms. And overgrazing, deforestation and drought in the north and northwest parts of China are feared to increase the risk of sandstorms. Severe drought has exacerbated the problem this year. The worst drought in a century turned much of southern China into parched fields and dry rice paddies, with 20 million people and 6 million hectares of farmland desperate for water. To tackle the problem, Chinese authorities have taken measures to combat sandstorms and extreme weather conditions, including planting thousands of trees and converting cultivated land into forests. Qiao Lin, chief forecaster with the National Meteorological Center world of warcraft power leveling of China Meteorological Administration, said progress is visible, as the number of sandstorms in China in recent years has declined. Sunday, the CMO reported that dust storms would continue to shroud parts of the north and northwest, but the storms will be significantly weaker compared with the sandstorms over the weekend. Qiao said the northern sandstorm won't spread to Beijing or other parts of China. Sandstorms are frequently reported in the arid north and northwest in the spring as rising temperatures thaw the soil, scientists say, adding that the combination of Mongolia cyclones and cold fronts result in the frequent outbreak of sandstorms. In March alone, as many as six sandstorms hit the country, with one storm reportedly stretching to Taiwan and Hong Kong, where local authorities reported in mid-March the worst pollution levels and warned of a public health menace.



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