Sandstorm envelops northwestern Chinese cities

Dramatic footage released by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV showed giant clouds of dust enveloping the ancient city of Dunhuang and Aksay Kazakh Autonomous County, which are both located on the fringes of the Gobi Desert.

The sandstorm also turned the sky yellow and reduced the visibility to less than 16.4 ft in some areas.

Local police imposed traffic controls on the city's highways and directed stranded vehicles to leave dangerous zones.

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