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Beijing Sees First Dusty Weather This Year

The first dusty weather this year hit Beijing on Saturday, with most part of the capital shrouded with haze, said the Beijing Meteorological Bureau.

Statistics from the city's environmental protection department shows that Yanqing County and Mentougou district were the first to encounter the floating dust, and the highest concentration of inhalable particle there reached more than 1400 gamma per stere each hour.

"The floating dust, which came from Shanxi, has covered the southern part of Hebei and the northern part of Shandong this morning. As it leads to south, the dust also affects the southwest of Beijing," said Guo Jinlan, a forecaster with Beijing Meteorological Bureau.

Experts with Beijing environmental protection department said the dusty weather did not influence air quality of the downtown area and the evaluation of today's air quality was still "fine".

"The dust will float out of Beijing tonight, but since the weather condition is unfavorable to the diffuse of air pollutants, air quality will still worsen tomorrow," experts said.

According to the forecast of Central Weather Bureau, sandstorms are expected to hit parts of China's Inner Mongolia and northern Shanxi areas in the next two days.

From March 4 to 6, strong winds will sweep north China, the eastern part of the northwest and the southern part of the northeast. Certain areas in these regions would be sandy or dusty.

The first regional sandstorm of the spring hit the northwestern province of Gansu on Friday, with the arid Minqin county experiencing a strong sandstorm.

(Xinhua News Agency March 1, 2008)

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