Updated: July 28, 2021 10:30:27 am
As parts of China continue to grapple with the aftermath of severe rainfall, flooding and typhoon, another natural phenomenon has citizens reeling: a sandstorm. Dramatic footage of a sandstorm engulfing a city in northwestern China has left people on social media freaking out, with many comparing it to scenes from an apocalyptic movie.
A heavy sandstorm with dust clouds towering at least 100 metres (330ft) high hit Dunhuang city in Gansu Province recently, and CCTV footage from across the region caught the occurrence. Stunning videos show a huge wall of sand slowly swallowing high-rise buildings and highways, causing chaos and alarm, especially among commuters.
When it struck around 3 pm, authorities issued a ‘yellow warning’ and local police sprung into action, helping direct traffic and ordering drivers to pull over until the storm had passed.
China has a four-tier colour-coded weather warning system for sandstorms, with red representing the most severe, followed by orange, yellow, and blue.
“Home to the Mogao caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dunhuang is located in the Gobi Desert, known for its harsh climate and living conditions,” South China Morning Post explained.
According to the regional meteorological department, the lowest visibility was reduced to 791 metres, Xinhua reported.
“I couldn’t see the sun,” resident surnamed Zhang told local media Jimu News. He added that the city, which is a famous tourist destination located on the Silk Route, had not experienced such a sandstorm in several years. “At first, I was enveloped in the sandstorm’s yellow dust, then it turned red and finally black.”
As clips went viral, it also started a conversation about climate change. Here’s how people reacted:
— อยากนอนโง่ๆ สัก 3 ปี 🏳️🌈 (@sodontbe_blue) July 27, 2021
Apocalypse now, right now, all catastrophes together..!
— Angel Díaz (@adiazperu) July 26, 2021
Mother Nature 200 – Humans 0. It’s looking like an old fashioned shellacking out there
— Tokyo Joe (@ned_folk) July 26, 2021
Wasn’t this a scene from The Mummy? Should we be worried?
— Alec D. Shope (@NotVeryBadRight) July 26, 2021
Frankly speaking, this picture should be made for the Hollywood team. But it may cost some money
— Ethan (@Ethan69413608) July 26, 2021
Is the higher power doing this to china???
What is next? I pray for the safety of people https://t.co/5ajs4SGxMR
— Dark📐🏗🔌 (@Darkguyindark) July 26, 2021
Terrifying footage of the moment Face screaming in feara sandstorm hits the city of Dunhuang in China. Turn the whole city into orange https://t.co/u9IqLkiGID
— Mark O’Malley (@markomalley) July 27, 2021