Massive Dust Storm Engulfs Northwestern Chinese City

(Bloomberg) -- A massive dust storm rolled through China’s northwestern province of Gansu on Sunday, enveloping office blocks and apartment buildings.

The People’s Daily posted footage of the dust storm advancing through Gansu’s Zhangye city to its social media accounts on Sunday. The mass reached 100 meters and blotted out the blue sky as it moved through the city, according to the newspaper and the footage.

Wu Ping, a 58-year-old retiree living in Zhangye, said the dust storm hit the city around mid-afternoon Sunday. 

“The dust storm reached when I was just walking out of my home so I ran back and stayed at home for the rest of the afternoon. I could not see anything through my window. Visibility was very low,” he told Bloomberg News by phone from Zhangye.

“Usually we have dust storm here in spring, not in winter. This is probably the worst dust storm I have seen in 10 years.”

Gansu, which is about the same size as California, is one of China’s poorest provinces but also known for starkly beautiful landscapes. Its borders include part of the Gobi Desert.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.