Making my way through Asia (and grad school) one adventurous step at a time.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Adventures in Yellow Dust...
Spring is such a conflicted time here in Korea. On one hand, the cherry blossoms are fluttering to the ground like pink snow and the lilacs are starting to produce their gentle purple fragrance. On the other hand, China has started exporting it's noxious yellow dust. Every spring, wind picks it up from the Gobi Desert and hurls it across the Yellow Sea directly into the lungs, eyes, teeth and icecream cones of the residents of South Korea. From the picture above, you can see one of the storms that passed over the Korean peninsula recently. (It's the big dusty looking swoosh to the right of the picture...yup, there it is. You've found it now. The big mass of yuck that's not clouds, water or land.) From my perspective (ie, not one from a satelite) it just looks like a hazy, hazy day. However, don't let those tiny particles fool you into thinking they're harmless. The icky bits (particles) in today's dust were 2-3x higher than what US officials consider a 'hazardous' health concern. That's in Daegu. Seoul had twice as many icky bits. We usually get several dust storms a season, and hopefully we'll get rain tomorrow to dampen the spirits of this latest one before either my lungs or my icecream become permanently damaged.

3 comments:

Liam said...

thunder and lightning this morning in Daejeon! Rude awakening but it will nicely clean the air

Mike Peacock said...

The dust was bothering me on Tuesday, and then my adult class took me out for drinks and Norae. By the time I got home I couldn't speak. I woke up at about 6 in the morning, and Venus was sleeping on my side as usual. Then a huge bright light filled my room and "BOOOOOMMMMM." It was one cool thunder and lightning storm, and it was freaking pouring out. Venus jumped so high she thought she was a bird.

Kim said...

indeed- the storm was very impressive! I almost didn't mind being jarred from sleep at 5:30. And 6. And 6:20. And....