A Dust Storm Swallows Qingdao
Living in China means that we know all about Air Quality (AQI), air purifiers and face masks. It is definitely not one of the positives about living here in China, but wherever we live there will be SOMETHING that isn’t ideal. In China it is the pollution.
Two weeks ago, the skies went from clear to dark within two hours. It felt as though a massive storm was rolling in, but the odd part about it was that their was a strange color in the air outside. It looked yellow! At the time, I had no idea what was going on but I did notice that I started to get a terrible headache. Around the same time, our air purifier turned on. It glows a variety of colors, depending on how hard it is working (i.e. how dirty the air is). The darkest color is purple… and it was glowing DARK PURPLE!
Not knowing any better, I assumed that it was some freakish wave of bad weather mixed with heavy smog. Only a couple of days later, did someone send me a video of the storm rolling in. It was then that I realized just how crazy these dust storms really are.
I found this information on NY Times:
“Dust storms enveloped parts of northern China for a second day on Friday, reducing visibility in cities like Beijing and threatening the health of millions of people. Such storms have become an increasingly common phenomenon for the region, as China’s deserts expand by gobbling up roughly 1,300 square miles a year. A half-century ago, such storms happened every seven or eight years; now they are an annual occurrence.
The storms typically happen in the spring, as strong winds send soil and sand from the Gobi Desert over northern China and even the Korean Peninsula. This week’s dust storms led to the cancellation of scores of flights and caused pollution in northern China to soar. Beijing’s air-quality index hit a dangerous level of 623 on Thursday; the United States government rates readings above 200 as “very unhealthy” and 301 to 500 as “hazardous.”
Experts tie the problem to the rapid urbanization of northern China, deforestation and climate change. The government has spent billions of dollars to plant forests to stop the creeping desertification, but some experts have questioned whether it has been effective enough in doing so.”
When we lived in Korea, we often heard about “the yellow dust” that blows in from China. It was a subject of much discussion, and many businesses would close down when one of these dust storms was forecast. Here in China – life went on as usual. Schools were open, businesses ran as usual. Sure, there were flights that got canceled – but that is only because there was no visibility, so taking off just wasn’t an option. For the most part, life continued as usual. Meantime, this was rolling in…
*CRAZY VIDEO – Check it out!!!*
Isn’t it amazing that those guys just stood around and watched this dust roll in. I would have thought that the world was coming to an end. Maybe they have witnesses scenes like this before – I certainly haven’t!
WOW. What a sight!