Giant sandstorm blazes into China

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Chinese city ‘disappears’ after being swallowed up by huge 300ft wall of sand

 CommentElisa MenendezTuesday 27 Jul 2021 9:57 am

Dunhuang in China was engulfed in a huge wall of sand hundreds of feet high in a scene that looks straight from a disaster film.
The city of Dunhuang became engulfed in sand after a storm hit on Sunday (Picture: Xinhua/SWNS)

An ancient northwestern city in China was engulfed in a huge wall of sand hundreds of feet high in a scene that looks straight from a disaster film.

Dramatic footage filmed by a resident shows the city of Dunhuang, on the fringes of the Gobi desert, swallowed by a sandstorm on Sunday afternoon.

The popular tourist spot momentarily disappeared under the 300ft high yellow dust clouds that blew in from the desert, turning the city red then black.

Police had to shut major roads in the city, which has a long history as an ancient Silk Road outpost, and urged motorists to wait in service areas for the storm to pass.

A resident surnamed Zhang told local media, Jimu News, that the storm came abruptly and swept through the city in five or six minutes.

‘I couldn’t see the sun,’ he added.

‘At first I was enveloped in the sandstorm’s yellow dust, then it turned red and finally black.’

A sandstorm swept across Dunhuang City in northwest China's Gansu Province on Sunday.
The regional observatory issued a yellow alert for sandstorms at 15.04pm local time (Picture: Xinhua/SWNS)
A sandstorm swept across Dunhuang City in northwest China's Gansu Province on Sunday.
The enormous sandstorm turned from yellow, to red, then black, said a local (Picture: Xinhua/SWNS)
A sandstorm swept across Dunhuang City in northwest China's Gansu Province on Sunday.
The sand wall reached around 300ft high (Picture: Xinhua/SWNS)
A sandstorm swept across Dunhuang City in northwest China's Gansu Province on Sunday.
Police were forced to close major roads and tell motorists not to drive until good visibility returned (Picture: Xinhua/SWNS)

He said the city, in Gansu province, has not experienced a sandstorm of that magnitude in years.

Sandstorms are common in the region each spring but rare in the summer, according to state-run news agency China News Service.

Visibility plummeted to around 791 metres after the regional observatory issued a yellow alert for sandstorms at 15.04pm local time.

China has a four-tier colour-coded weather warning system for sandstorms, with red representing the most severe, followed by orange, yellow, and blue.

Tourists who had gone to the nearby Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Lake Nature Park saw the day end in chaos when most of their belongings were blown away in the storm.

The group had planned to watch the sunset between the sand dunes, which give out a singing sound when the wind blows, but were forced to huddle together when the enormous clouds of smoke blew over them.

Dunhuang is home to several major tourist attractions including the Mogao Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site with ancient Buddhist carvings, and striking desert landforms.

This still grab taken on July 27, 2021 from video obtained by China's state television CCTV shows a heavy sandstorm engulfing buildings on July 25 in Dunhuang in northwest China's Gansu province.
The city’s high rises disappeared completely from view for several minutes (Picture: AFP)
A sandstorm swept across Dunhuang City in northwest China's Gansu Province on Sunday.
Sandstorms are common for the region but a local said there hadn’t been on of this magnitude in years (Picture: Xinhua/SWNS)

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Published by technofiend1

Kazan- Kazan National Research Technical University Казанский национальный исследовательский технический университет имени А. Н. Туполева he graduated in Economics in 1982

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