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First Sandstorm This Year Hits Beijing

The Chinese capital was blanketed by floating dust from Friday night on. This year's first sandstorm should be cleared up in the city till Saturday night, says the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).

The floating dust was brought in by a cyclone developed in Mongolia, which moved eastward through Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Hebei Province into the city, Sun Jun, a CMA senior engineer said.

The main body of the cyclone is expected to reach Beijing around Saturday noon, but the strong wind should help drive the floating dust away, according to Sun.

Floating dust is the mildest form of sandstorms, and Beijing would not be much affected. Yet, people were still advised to take precautions such as wearing a scarf when they go outside, and less outdoor activities.

(Xinhua News Agency March 31, 2007)

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