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Sandstorm shrouds parts of China in orangish darkness

AFP - Getty Images

Motorists drive with their lights during a heavy sandstorm in Yecheng county, in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

AFP - Getty Images

Commuters travel during a heavy sandstorm in Yecheng county, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

A sandstorm blankets northwest China due to a cold snap that also brought strong winds. NBCNews.com's Dara Brown reports.

A spring sandstorm blanketed areas of northwest China in darkness on Tuesday. Commuters turned on their emergency lights, and pedestrians covered their mouths and noses to protect themselves from dust kicked up by high winds.

The sandstorm affected several cities including Kashi, Hetian and Kezhou.

Editor's Note: Images were shot on April 16, and made available to NBC News today.

 

Str / AFP - Getty Images

Motorists drive with their lights during a heavy sandstorm in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.