Viral footage has been shared which shows the frightening scenes as a heavy sandstorm seems to completely engulf the Chinese city of Dunhuang. Watch the video here:
The terrifying footage shows high rise buildings in the distance disappearing slowly into the enormous cloud of dust, which crept over the city at around 3pm on 25 July.
According to reports, the sand wall towered at around 100 metres (330ft) high and caused chaos among local residents and tourists, some of whom had their possessions blown away.
The South China Morning Post reported that local police had to deal with the situation by enforcing traffic controls at toll gates.
They also had to order drivers to get their vehicles off expressways and into service areas to wait for the storm to pass.
A video was posted to Twitter by research professor Neil Schmid - commenting on the post, someone asked what the safety procedure is for those living in the city.
In response, another Twitter user wrote: "Stay at home and close doors and windows, the storm is just passing, three days maximum."
According to MailOnline, a group of tourists were caught off guard as they visited a nature park to watch the sunset.
Their possessions ended up being blown away and they were forced to huddle together, wearing glasses and masks to protect themselves from the sand.
Dunhuang is home to the Mogao Grottoes, a Unesco World Heritage Site, and is located in the Gobi Desert.
It is known for its harsh climate and living conditions.
Earlier this year, the northern side of China found itself enveloped in the worst sandstorm in a decade, leading hundreds of flights to be cancelled.
In March, skyscrapers in Beijing appeared to drop from sight amid the dust and sand, while traffic snarled and more than 400 flights out of the capital's two main airports were cancelled before midday.
The National Meteorological Centre predicted the sand and dust would affect 12 provinces and regions from Xinjiang in the far north-west to Heilongjiang in the north-east and the eastern coastal port city of Tianjin.
"This is the most intense sandstorm weather our country has seen in 10 years, as well as it covering the broadest area," the centre said in a post on its website.
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