Beijing residents bemoan smog and sandstorms
BEIJING (AFP) - Beijing residents were urged to stay indoors Thursday as pollution levels soared before a sandstorm brought further misery to China's capital.
A thick blanket of smog covered large swathes of the country in the morning, causing residents to once again dig out face-masks as China's gruelling winter of pollution continues.
The noxious haze saw the US embassy's air quality index reading for Beijing hit 516 at 6am, signalling air quality worse than the highest classification of "hazardous".
Those who ventured out in mid-morning were confronted with swirling clouds of dust, which the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center said had been blown in from Inner Mongolia.