Scary video shows Chinese city disappearing in massive dust storm
( NYPost )
A monstrous dust storm engulfed the Chinese city of Dunhuang on Sunday afternoon.
Residents of the northwestern city in Gansu province captured the terrifying descent of the 300-foot-high clouds of sediment, the South China Morning Post reported — a force of nature that obscured even high-rise towers as local government officials urged citizens to stay indoors, issuing a “yellow” alert to citizens.
During the storm, which had traveled from the Gobi Desert just outside of the Silk Road city Dunhuang, major roads were shut down due to decreased visibility — less than 20 feet in some areas — making it impossible to see traffic ahead. At the same time, more than 400 flights out of the city’s two main airports were canceled.
On July 25, a #sandstorm hit Dunhuang in #Gansu province. A yellow alert for sandstorm was issued. pic.twitter.com/kuUo8rTfKf — Zhengguan News (@ZhengguanNews) July 25, 2021
Sandstorm today, #Dunhuang #沙尘暴 #敦煌 pic.twitter.com/XDpyhlW0PV — Neil Schmid 史瀚文 (@DNeilSchmid) July 25, 2021
Those caught in the elements, including groups of tourists at Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Lake Nature Park, according to the Daily Mail, were forced to hunker down in place as winds tore through the unencumbered landscape, taking human possessions with them.
The ominous weather pattern lasted about 10 minutes, said witnesses, who regularly see dust storms blow in from the Gobi desert in the spring — though, rarely do they occur this late in the year. Beijing and countless other communities on the Gobi border experience similar dust storms, now increasingly common due to deforestation and soil erosion throughout the region.
A rare summer #sandstorm hit west of Gansu Province in the northwest of China. In Dunhuang city, a huge sand front was caught on camera as it was about to swallow a community. The storm shrouded the region for over 10 minutes and visibility was reduced to less than 50 meters. pic.twitter.com/7ksRBjud4v — WatchTower (@WatchTowerGW) July 26, 2021
Wait for 2 seconds, the world is completely different. Dunhuang encounters a rare summer sandstorm. west of dunhuang is a thousand km of no man's land and Gobi Desert.But Many tourists are happy to face and have strange experiences😅😅😅. pic.twitter.com/84CUvAAgr3 — Sharing travel (@lsjngs) July 26, 2021
China has made attempts to hinder dust storms over the years, such as planting a “great green wall” of trees in order to divert a storm’s movement, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.