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Sandstorms hit N China's Inner Mongolia, yellow alert issued


China's National Meteorological Center (NMC) renewed a yellow alert for sandstorms on Wednesday as the storm slashed the country's northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The public is advised to stay indoors, close windows and keep away from billboards and trees due to the heavy winds and dust.

Due to the cold air and strong winds, it is forecast that Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, regions in northwestern, northern and northeastern China will experience sandy and dusty weather.

A meteorological expert explained why sandstorms occur in these regions.

"The temperature has increased in the northern regions of China and the main region of sand sources in southern Mongolia, with the highest exceeding 18 degrees Celsius, which is 2 to 4 degrees Celsius higher than the same period of the year. In addition, the precipitation in these areas is less," said Zhang Bihui, director of the environmental meteorology office at the National Meteorological Center.

"The rising temperature and less precipitation also lead to a significant decrease in snow cover in these areas compared with February, so the bare surface provides very favorable sand source conditions for sand dust," Zhang added.

(Cover: FILE: Sand in the air in Hohhot, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, May 18, 2023. /CFP)

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