Sandstorms sweep NW China

Updated: 2011-09-08 14:40


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URUMQI - Sandstorms have swept part of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region since early Thursday, affecting highway traffic, according to local meteorological authorities.

The Turpan Prefecture, a well-known tourist destination in Xinjiang, has been blanketed in yellow dust since early Thursday. Furious winds carrying sands damaged telegraph poles and trees, and forced autos to slow down, said a spokesperson with the prefecture's meteorological bureau.

Many vehicles are stranded at a section of highway linking the city of Lianyungang in eastern Jiangsu province and Xinjiang's port of Horgos, as visibility has been reduced to less than five meters, according to the spokesperson.

He said the sandstorms were caused by severe convective weather and winds were moving at speeds of up to 50 km per hour.