HOHHOT — A new round of sandstorms is sweeping through North China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, reducing visibility and turning daytime into darkness in some areas.

The sandstorm started in the western part of the region on Tuesday evening and will rage eastward on Wednesday, according to the regional meteorological center.

It arrived only about two days after a sandstorm engulfed most of the region, reducing average visibility to less than 1,000 meters.

In the city of Erenhot, the sandstorms started on Wednesday morning, bringing down visibility to less than 500 meters.

“From afar, the sand dust looks like a wall moving closer and closer. The scary sight keeps people from going out,” said Zhang Xianfeng, a resident in Erenhot.

At a meteorological station in Alashan League (Prefecture), visibility plummeted to 230 meters at around 7 pm Tuesday, with staff saying the region was in complete darkness before sunset.

Yang Litao, analyst with the regional meteorological center, said the recent sandstorms were the strongest and most widespread reported in Inner Mongolia this year.

Meteorologists have ascribed the sandstorms to scanty rainfall and snowfall last winter, leading to dry land that fed sandstorms in recent windy days.