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Hazardous Smog Smothering Much of Northern China

Posted by feww on December 23, 2015

‘Red alert’ for dangerous air pollution extends to more areas in N. China

China’s Hebei Province and the port city of Tianjin saw their first-ever air pollution red alerts Wednesday, said a report.

Red alert is the most severe in China’s four-tier warning system, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

Hebei province, which is home to six of the ten most polluted Chinese cities in November, issued its first red alert for smog Tuesday noon.

The cities of Baoding, Handan, Langfang and Xingtai had already issued red alerts before the provincial-wide alert came into effect, said the report.

On Monday night, Tianjin also issued its first red alert for air pollution, which will last from 0:00 a.m. Wednesday to 6:00 a.m.Thursday, according to a government statement.

During the red alert, only half of the cars will be allowed on the roads; “enterprises and public institutions will adopt flexible working hours and large outdoor activities and construction work will be suspended.”


Particle pollution contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small they can get deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems. Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your bloodstream. Source: EPA

Additionally, schools will also cancel classes. “Key polluting industries will cut production as continuous cleaning operations are conducted in the city’s downtown areas.”

Beijing was hit with severe air pollution on Tuesday, with pollution levels expecting to reach grade six on a six-grade pollution gauging system in the southern part of the city later in the day, according to Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center (BMEMC).

“Affected by increased humidity and temperature inversion, the density of PM2.5 (particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers used to measure air quality) may exceed 500 micrograms per cubic meter on Tuesday,” the report quoted an environmental expert from BMEMC.

PM2.5 reached a two-day high of  506 micrograms per cubic meter in Beijing as of 4:00 p.m Tuesday, according to http://aqicn.org/city/beijing/.

Heavy smog has hit the country’s Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region on three occasions since late November. Low wind speed, high humidity and unfavorable wind conditions are the main causes of the smog…

Other parts of north China also experienced some of the worst smog so far this year starting Saturday.

  • Orange, yellow and blue alerts have been issued in cities in the provinces of Henan, Shandong and Liaoning.
  • The PM2.5 level was 248 micrograms per cubic meter in Shenyang as of 7:00 p.m Tuesday.

Poor visibility caused by heavy fog and smog, affected the trains on high-speed rail linking Shenyang, capital city of Liaoning, and the coastal city of Dalian. The trains were forced to reduce speed to 200 km/hr down from the normal 300km/hr, the report quoted the Shenyang railway bureau as saying

  • Some 15 highways in Liaoning Province were either completely or partially closed, according to the local transportation department.
  • In addition, 15 highways in Liaoning Province were either completely or partially closed, according to the local transportation department.

 

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