|A tourist with a scarf on mouth poses in front of the National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", in Beijing, capital of China, April 30, 2011. Heavy winds hit Beijing with floating dust and sand on Saturday. (Xinhua/Shen Bohan)
BEIJING, April 30 (Xinhua) -- The worst sandstorm of the year hit Beijing Saturday morning after sweeping through other regions in north China, the municipal meteorological station said.
Beijing's sky turned yellow early in the morning as the sandstorm reached the city from Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Statistics from Beijing's Environment Protection Bureau shows Saturday's air quality is among the worst in the year.
China's National Meteorological Center issued a sandstorm alert at 10 a.m.. The sandstorm was formed in Mongolia and parts of Inner Mongolia.
Most parts of north China will have sandy weather from 2 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday, according to the alert posted on www.weather.com.cn.
Statistics from the State Forestry Administration shows the sandstorm has swept through 10 provinces and regions in north and west China, affecting an area of 2.3 million square km with a population of 90 million people.
Beijing's sky will be clear again on Sunday, said Sun Jisong, a spokesman for the Beijing meteorological station.
Charts on www.weather.com.cn also shows that southern parts of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in west China is being shrouded by a separate sandstorm.