Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2

New Episodes at CBC Music

New Episodes at CBC Music

Need more Strombo Show? Head over to our page on CBC Music for new episodes, playlists and video extras.

CBC Music Past Shows



Alt News
This Week’s Sandstorm In China Was As Spectacular As It Was Disruptive
April 26, 2014
submit to reddit

An overhead view of the Taklimakan Desert in China, which is contributing to a massive sandstorm. (Photo: NASA)

Northern China is experiencing its biggest sandstorm in 10 years, making everyday life exceedingly difficult for residents of Hubei, Hunan, Jianxi and Anhui provinces. Schools have been closed, and drivers are being urged to stay off the roads for lack of visibility.

All that sand is coming from the Gobi desert, which covers vast swaths of Mongolia and northern China. It's finding its way into major cities thanks to unusually strong winds, which in turn are caused by severe weather patterns in Siberia. While sandstorms aren't uncommon in that region, they're rarely quite this bad — or this sudden. This storm moved in remarkably fast, blanketing much of northern China with a wall of sand and dust (and cold — the temperature dropped significantly as the storm moved in, causing many people in rural areas to worry about this year's crops). You can read some more about what sandstorms are and how they work here.

The sand has also turned the sky a dark orange-y hue, even in the middle of the day. And in some places, visibility has been reduced to just 20 metres. 

Here's a video showing what it looked like in Gansu province:

For some more images of the sandstorm (and a couple of aerial images showing the storm's progression), check out the gallery above. 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.