Northwest China's Gansu Province was hit by the biggest sandstorm in 2012 so far on Sunday due to the shortage of rainfall in March, local meteorological officials said.
|First regional sandstorm of 2012 hits Gansu [Xinhua]|
The sandstorm first hit Dunhuang city in western Gansu at 2 p.m. and then blanketed cities like Jiayuguan and Jiuquan in central Gansu and reduced visibility to less than 900 meters, according to the provincial meteorological center.
This is the first regional sandstorm to hit the province this year and also so far the biggest one in terms of the affected area.
A blue wind alert was issued by the Lanzhou center observatory at 10 a.m., which then upgraded the alert level to yellow, the third-highest in the four-tier wind alert system. The wind speed reached 75 km per hour in the affected area, the observatory said.
The regional sandstorm occurred 24 days before the first regional sandstorm in 2011.
The sandstorm is still under way and is expected to weaken and end on Monday.