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Heavy Sandstorm Rolls Over Gansu
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A huge sandstorm hit the Jiuquan and Jiayu Pass areas in northwest China's Gansu Province Monday night, with an average wind force of 6 and gusting up to force 8. Visibility in the affected areas declined to 200 meters.

The sandstorm with strong wind suddenly hit the aforementioned areas at 9:20 PM Monday.

According to the meteorological station of Jiuquan City, the sandstorm formed in the Alxa League of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region at about 5:00 PM Monday and moved southwest. It swept over an area of about 180,000 square kilometers, hitting the Jiuquan and Jiayu Pass areas at 9:20 PM.

Xu Dianxiang, an official with the Jiuquan Meteorological Station, said that sandstorms are rare this time of year. He attributed this one to dry weather and high temperatures over the past two weeks.

The gale was reportedly not strong enough to do much harm to crops.

(Xinhua News Agency July 13, 2004)

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