Sandstorm swallows city in northwestern China

A massive sandstorm swept across Northern China

A Chinese city is engulfed by a gigantic wall of sand hundreds of feet high in footage straight out of a disaster movie. The storm swept across Dunhuang, a city on the edge of the Gobi Desert, on Sunday just after 3pm local time, with everything in its path covered in sand. A video shows the city of Dunhuang vanishing between the more than 300 feet wall of sand that blew in from the Gobi Desert on Sunday.

Footage showed the moment the 100 metre wall of sand descended over the tallest buildings, showering them in a thick cloud. Visibility throughout the streets was less than five metres after the storm hit, with local police forced to take to the roads and help with traffic control and order drivers to pull over until the storm had passed. The apocalyptic scene was filmed by a resident who shared the scary clip on Twitter. In it, high rise buildings disappear from view as the enormous cloud of dust slowly moves into the city.  The South China Morning Post reported that the storm struck the ancient Silk Road city at around 3pm local time. Tourists at a nearby nature park were caught off guard by the dust storm, which blew away their possessions. Dunhuang is known for its harsh climate and living conditions. It is home to the Mogao Caves, also known as the Thousand Buddha Grottoes, a temple complex and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Chinese media at the time reported that extreme weather has become more common in recent years due to human activities and deforestation.