Deadly sandstorm turns day to night as skies turn orange and hundreds go missing

Incredible footage has shown how skies above several cities in China have turned into an orange haze after the worst sandstorm in 10 years hit.

The sandstorm, combined with high air pollution, engulfed the southwest region of Mongolia, has so far killed 10 people with 548 more missing on Monday (March 15).

Footage posted by China News shows the apocalyptic scenes left in the wake of the weather phenomenon.

A huge barrel of cloud filled with sand is seen approaching towards the buildings.

In some areas with low visibility, drivers are stranded inside their cars on a highway.

Local residents called it a "Doomsday moment" as they struggle to differentiate between day and night.

Viewers commented on video-sharing app Douyin and compared the eerie scenes as something spotted from Mars.

One said: "Feels like you're on a different planet now …Mars."

Another wrote: "This is so scary to watch. I've never seen such a huge sandstorm in my life."

"My son woke up in the middle of the night saying he can't breathe," a third shared. "He looked up and saw the cloudy, blurry sky."

Beijing, China's capital city, was also hit by the sandstorm today.

A realtime air quality index showed a maximum reading of 655 in Beijing, which is categorised as "hazardous" – meaning everyone may experience more serious health effects, according to the Air Quality Index.

The state media has confirmed that the sandstorm blew in from the desert stretching into Inner Mongolia saw concentrations of the larger PM10 particles surpass 8,000 micrograms.

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