More dusty weather forecast in China's sandstorm source

10:56, March 13, 2010      

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Meteorological authorities in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region predicted more "dust days" in 2010 spring than last year in Araxan, a key source of China's sandstorms.

More gales and dust storms, including three to four fierce ones that might reduce the visibility to less than 1 kilometer, were expected to strike Araxan League at the west end of Inner Mongolia, according to the meteorological station of Araxan.

The 270,000-square-kilometer Araxan, one third of which was desert, was one of the three major sources of China's spring sandstorms, said Li Youwen, a researcher with the regional center for ecological and agricultural meteorology.

Last year, Araxan experienced the most severe drought in the past 20 years, which brought about fierce sandstorms.

"The sandstorms originating in Araxan have often plagued Beijing and many other regions in north China," Li said.

In 2000, a series of dust storms hit Beijing, seriously disrupting traffic. "The frequency and intensity of which had rarely seen in China's past 60 years," Li said.

The first sandstorm this year struck Inner Mongolia Thursday, reducing the visibility to less than 100 meters. It also affected the neighboring Shanxi Province.

Source: Xinhua
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