Osaka is blanketed in a sandstorm on Tuesday. Photo: KYODO
national

Yellow sandstorm blankets part of western Japan

33 Comments

A yellow sandstorm covered wide areas of western and northeastern Japan on Tuesday, prompting the Japan Meteorological Agency to warn of possible disruptions to transportation due to poor visibility.

In Osaka, visibility was about five kilometers on Tuesday morning, and less than four kilometers in parts of Yamaguchi, Shiga, Fukuoka, Oita and Hyogo prefectures, the agency said.

The yellow sand, which is carried on westerly winds from China, is expected to continue on Wednesday and may also reach parts of northern Japan.

Last week, China’s capital of Beijing and much of the country's north were blanketed by the sandstorm. The storms are a frequent occurrence in spring as sand from the Gobi and other western deserts blow in an easterly direction.

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33 Comments
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Greetings from China.

I guess 10% Sand, 90% Smog!

27 ( +36 / -9 )

Yet another unwanted gift from the dictatorship next door.

24 ( +39 / -15 )

Another reason to put on a mask...

24 ( +27 / -3 )

AQI site shows parts of China and Korea with AQI index literally off the charts at 999. Over 100 is unhealthy. Using my own AQI gadget this morning in Shiga it was reading 156.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Wish I could mask my eyes. I have severe chronic constantly reoccurring eye herpes and I guess this yellow powder must be irritating it. Damn itchy all day.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

I have severe chronic constantly reoccurring eye herpes

Damn.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Take care and keep those masks on everyone, not good to breathe that polluted air.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Woke up this morning thinking I still living in Bangkok.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

It happens every year and has done for centuries. Some years are worth than others. I don’t think it’s as bad as the red cedar (sugi) pollen.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Bjorn,

It is not only sand. Beijing is a smoggy city, and the storm no doubt picked up some of that, too. However, the sandstorm isn’t a political act on the part of Mongolians, and the smog isn’t directed eastward by communists. Deforestation is part of the problem, but there were sandstorms before that, too.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Another reason to put on a mask...

Use a PM2.5 mask though, which are different.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

They are having a huge sandstorm in Mongolia that picked up more goodies on the way here. This happens every few years, but this year is particularly bad. It is mostly from the sandstorm folks, so it’s not an evil plot. It’s bad in Beijing, too.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/largest-dust-storm-over-decade-blankets-china-180977287/

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I am sure there is pollution generated in Japan as well but that is not the point, that is an internal matter which doesn’t affect anyone else.

A million tonnes of radioactive water is soon to become a very external matter.

Japan, like most other wealthy nations exports it's pollution and environmental problems through excessive and wasteful consumerism. Japan is particularly responsible for deforestation in SE Asia due to its demand for timber and the heavy investment of Japanese megabanks (Mizuho, MUFG, SMBC) in forestry and palm oil. Those toxic hazes due to Indonesian slash & burn fires can be traced back to this island, and back to you and me.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Fighto!Today  05:45 pm JST

Send the cleanup bill to the Commies, along with the Covid bill. They are certainly doing their utmost to wreck Japans clean air and nature.

That made me laugh- Thanks for the chuckles.

When I first came to Japan, I spent a year in Yokkaichi...Then I came up for air in Osaka...

I'm not sure what my lungs would make of clean air anymore.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Pretty bad in Nagoya today too, could barely see high rise buildings that were only 3 or 4 km away.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ooops - and continuing on.

Atmospheric dust ranges in sizes from 0.001 ~ 30 microns.

Wind blown sand generally is from 100+ microns.

Why does the media use the term Sand Storm? Well to generate attention I guess.

Which is not to downplay the negative effects - esp on health - of these clouds of dust.

If you've ever been in a real sand storm you'd know the difference.

And yes they have been occurring for centuries. It's well documented in historical writings.

What is different is the level of other pollutants that hitch rides or merge with the dust such as coal smoke, oil fumes, pollen etc combining to create nasty cocktails of skin, eye, throat, lung irritants.

Masks help a lot.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Spot on!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I noticed it was a little hazy here today. Thought it was just the regular smog we get from the local pulp mill and the steel foundry.

I'm relieved I can blame it on gaikoku! /s

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Albert, the reason it has got a lot worse is down to the environmental degradation in northern China, the Gobi has got worse and therefor more sand is blown south. Yes these storms have always happened to some extent but they have got worse over time and the smog element is entirely man made due to the lax environmental regulation (and corruption) in China. I am sure there is pollution generated in Japan as well but that is not the point, that is an internal matter which doesn’t affect anyone else. China’s pollution spreads across 3 other countries at least, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea (not sure if the prevailing winds take it to NK and they don’t say).

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Actually the term "Sand Storm" is a misnomer.

Firstly today in my heavily "hit" area there was/is no storm. Winds were very light if at all, but the citscape was shrouded in a dirty haze

What brought visibility down to a few kms were particles of yellow dust

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ClippetyClop You are spot

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wore a good quality mask all day, but throat still sore

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I use an app on my phone but this one is good on the net.

Air Quality

https://aqicn.org/map/japan/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Again nonsense replies from people who blame China. We all know pollution is high in china but that china get to be blamed for wind directions is redicilous. Grow up people and put something which has some meaning. Japantoday is getting a playground.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

I guess it's time to wash my car.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is correct that this dust has been blowing westward for millions of years off the Gobi desert, in fact it is called loess, and has covered large areas of China through which major rivers flow and pn which crops grow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyone else automatically have Sandstorm playing in their head?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Send the cleanup bill to the Commies, along with the Covid bill. They are certainly doing their utmost to wreck Japans clean air and nature.

-2 ( +15 / -17 )

It happens every year and has done for centuries. Some years are worth than others. I don’t think it’s as bad as the red cedar (sugi) pollen.

Hazy sky due to foreign elements is definitely more recent phenomenon, concurring alongside China's rapid industrialisation. Though one can hardly explain the whole process, the yellow sandstorm is likely man-made with humans, their negligence responsible for it (just like the initial cover-up of the pandemic).

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Hopefully its only sand and not some other contaminents contained in that wind, you never know with that CCP what they throwing up these days.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

What next???

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Anyone else automatically have Sandstorm playing in their head?

Which one? Darude or Cast? Gotta be Cast surely.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Yellow sand....well that sounds only disturbing and very dusty or dry, but how is it really, do the viruses bind to those particles together with air humidity forming virus loaded aerosols? Does anybody here know in detail or has read something about such?

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

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