City residents who ventured outdoors masked their faces against the blowing sand, Xinhua, the official government news agency, reported. The National Meteorological Center reported the storm is the worst so far this year and said it is expected to clear by Sunday.
The State Forestry Administration said the storm has affected parts of 10 provinces in northern and western China, an area where 90 million people live.
Strong sandstorms also have hit Inner Mongolia and the Uighur Autonomous Area since Thursday, Xinhua said.
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