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Korean Peninsula faces looming dust storm amid China`s worst drought

Korean Peninsula faces looming dust storm amid China`s worst drought

Posted April. 05, 2014 04:58,   


“K,” a 50-year-old homemaker, came to Beijing in February along with her husband who was seconded to China. On the day she arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport, she could hardly believe her sight and smell. She already heard of bad air, but upon arrival she found the airport was buried in smog so thick that she could hardly see a distance even several meters away, and felt acrid smell in her nose. She had difficulties breathing, and vomited severely all of sudden. It was also strange to see airport employees working in protective masks.

When K arrived at a hotel in Wangjing in Chaoyang district, where her family stayed temporarily until finding their residence, she was told by a Korean resident there, “I have lived in Beijing over the past 18 years, and this is the worst pollution I have ever experienced.” Due to hypersensitive bronchial tubes, she would have difficulties breathing amid flying pollen in the spring in Korea as well, but she has seen her health so severely deteriorate in Beijing that she often vomits walking down the street these days.

As central heating supply was shut off in Beijing on March 16, she expected a decline in heating fuel use would lead to improved air quality. However, the situation has remained unchanged even this month. "K" truly wants to return to Korea even alone.

“A,” a Japanese man who had returned to Japan after completing his three-year service in Beijing in late 2011 and came back to Beijing two years later, was shocked to learn through a medical checkup that “Your lung is dark” in late last year. The reason cited is that despite his extensive outdoor activities at work, he has not used protective masks.