Fewer Spring Sandstorms in Beijing
BEIJING (AP) _ Sandstorms, long the scourge of springtime in Beijing, have been largely overcome by tree-planting and land cultivation, the official China Daily newspaper said Tuesday.
It said windy days increased from the 1950s to the 1980s, but damage caused by sand and wind was only one-third as great.
Spring winds in the past dumped tons of sand and dirt on Beijing from the alluvial lands fed by overflowing rivers west of the capital.
In 1977, Beijing was listed by the United Nations Environment Program as an area jeopardized by desertification.
China Daily said that in the past 30 years 117,570 out of 143,260 acres of wasted sandy land in the area have been turned into good farmland, and 163,020 acres of forest have been restored.
Woodland now covers nearly 16 percent of the capital, it said.