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Beijing Creates Downpour to Clean Streets
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Meteorologists in Beijing have created manmade rain falls to clean the sand that is left on the streets from the worst sandstorm since this spring, Beijing Star Daily reported today. The storm has affected the daily lives of about 200 million people.

The sandstorm is expected to last for two more days and the wind is expected to reach force four or five, CCTV news reported today.

The meteorological bureau created two "rain falls" at 7:20 PM and 9:20pm in Beijing's rural areas yesterday.

The city's government has launched a project to solve the pollution issue created by the sandstorm. In the downtown area, street cleaners have been pouring water directly onto the roads rather than the water sprayers.

About 300 street cleaning vehicles commenced routes on 500 streets of the city yesterday afternoon. Chang'an Road, Ping'an Road as well as the Second, Third and Fourth Ring Roads have been cleaned; the main streets in Xidan and Wangfujin have to be cleaned at least twice a day.

In these two days, workers have poured more than 2,000 tons water on the streets to rid them of the sand.

The air quality in Beijing dropped to the lowest possible level yesterday as the capital of China remains wrapped in the sandstorm. It dropped a total of 300,000 tons of sand on the city.

The storm, affected by a cyclone from Mongolia, hit an estimated area of 304,000 square meters in northern China, with wind speeds reaching 12 meters per second and a visibility rate of 200 meters.

(Shanghai Daily April 19, 2006)

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