Orange skies in Beijing after worst sandstorm in a decade

Domestic News

Surreal images from China's capital.

Photo by Wú Zhēngfán 吴征凡

The biggest sandstorm in a decade descended on Beijing on Monday morning, making for some striking visuals:

Photo by John Sawchak, taken in Beijing’s Central Business District
Photo by Patricia
Photo by Nina Hua
Photo published with permission
Photo published with permission
Photo by John Sawchak

— Luke Giles (@lukegilesADL) March 15, 2021

Backside of the Forbidden City; photo from Chinese social media

And of course, the memes:

The sands came from Inner Mongolia, according to the China Meteorological Administration, which issued a yellow alert — the third highest level, underneath red and orange (we shudder to think what those look like). In Mongolia, at least six were killed over the weekend by the storm, according to Xinhua, while hundreds were reported missing.

The air quality index showed readings exceeding 9,000.

Luckily, the skies have cleared a bit, as of this writing in the mid-afternoon. They have turned a shade of silver.