Monday, October 19, 2009

High winds blast Beijing

High winds swept through Beijing on Sunday, October 18th, and although not gale force it did bring some damage and more than a few injuries. Though nothing was reported by state news agency Xinhua, many citizen journalists and Twitter users provided much information as to the damage brought by the gusts which topped more than 70 km/h. One Twitter user posted a picture of the scene in Wangfujing when a sign crashed to the floor. According to the Twitter user Fish Sun, who goes by the name of @Papersushi, up to two people may have been injured when the KFC sign fell. "A KFC sign in Beijing's Wangfujing falls yesterday due to the high winds injuring someone. It was said someone was even killed, but no details and no reports and no confirmation" he states on his feed [昨天,北京王府井KFC的招牌砸伤人了。风太大了。传说有人被砸死,但实际情况不清楚,未见有新闻报道]. 

Simon, an expat living in Beijing, described the scene in Chaoyang Park as "amazing" with several mature trees ripped up. Across Beijing the high wind swept up the rubbish sending it into spirals like mini-tornadoes and making the crossing of roads a little more dangerous than usual as one avoided both flying objects as well as vehicles while doing one's best not to lose hats and scarves. By Monday morning the winds had subsided. The gusts had also taken the smog and cloud with it as Beijing once again was basking in the autumn sunshine with temperatures of around 18 degrees Celsius. The air too was categorized as "good" by the US Embassy's twitter feed @beijingair, which tweets daily air quality readings.

tvnewswatch, Beijing, China

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