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North China Braces For Fierce Sandstorms

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Photo: A man pushes his tricycle amid heavy sandstorm on a street in Xining, northwest China's Qinghai province March 30, 2007. Sandstorms will hit most parts of northern China in the next three days, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) forecast, with temperatures expected to drop by four to eight degrees Celsius in most parts of northern China and by up to 12 degrees in some areas. [Reuters]

Many parts of northern and northwestern China were bracing for two more days of sandstorms as senior leaders, including President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, joined 2 million people to plant saplings in Beijing yesterday to combat the change in climate.
The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has forecast severe sandstorms in Nanjiang Basin of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and western parts of Gansu Province over the next two days. Beijing, however, will not be hit by any of the storms.
The CMA has forecast that 11 to 15 sandstorms are likely to hit North and Northwest China this spring.
Sandstorms originating in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia because of deforestation and degradation of land have hit Beijing and some coastal regions every spring for a number of years.
The CMA said the year's ninth sandstorm disrupted life and traffic in Inner Mongolia, northern Shaanxi, southern parts of North China and Shandong since 8 am yesterday.

Breaking Related News
Year's worst yellow dust blankets Korea
The year's worst dust storm plagued much of Korea yesterday, prompting the authorities to issue health warnings against the sandy, chemical-laden wind from China.
Meteorologists are forecasting that this will be the worst ever yellow dust year in terms of severity and frequency due to an unusually warm winter and lighter snowfalls in the desert-like area of northwestern China and Mongolia.
Photo: Children wearing masks look out the window at Seoul Tower. Over the weekend, South Korea was blanketed in dust as the worst yellow sandstorms of this year struck the country. [The Korea Herald]

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