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Posts Tagged ‘smog in China’

“Apocalyptic” Smog Paralyzes Much of China

Posted by feww on December 6, 2013

Closed or Cancelled: Dozens of Highways, hundreds of flights and long-distance buses, thousands of schools…

Severe smog, which began engulfing northern, central and eastern regions of China on Wednesday, is forecast to persist through the weekend.

Shanghai’s PM2.5 pollution soared to 590 micrograms per cubic meter, about than 30 times the limit recommended by the World Health Organization. Xuhui District recorded pollution levels of about 602.4 micrograms per cubic meter, said Xinhua.

Shanghai (population: 25 million) is the most populated city in China and the largest city proper by population in the world.

shanghai 5dec2013
Shanghai’s skyline Thursday morning.  Severe smog has reduced visibility to dangerously low levels disrupting rail, air, water and road transportation. (source: People’s Daily Online/Wang Chu). More images…

Nanjing (population: 8.2 million), the capital of Jiangsu Province, issued a “red alert” on Wednesday after color of the sky turned mustard yellow. The PM10 pollution level was 413 (from a peak of 467) with PM2.5 at 397 (peak of 462), as of posting.

Social media users in China described the environment in deserted cities with the sky turning pale yellow as “apocalyptic,” reported Reuters.

Meantime, visibility reduced to less than 50 meters in many places, forcing highways to shut in east China’s Jiangxi Province on Thursday morning. Xinhua said its reporter had seen thousands of drivers stranded on the Changdong Highway in Nanchang (population: 5.3 million), the capital of Jiangxi Province.

“Twenty-five provincial-level regions have been suffering smoggy weather, including the cities of Hangzhou and Nanjing, according to the National Meteorological Center,” reported Xinhua.

[China has 34 provincial level divisions, classified as 22 provinces, 4 municipalities, 5 autonomous regions, 2 Special Administrative Regions, and the claimed Taiwan Province.]

In October, smog forced the shutdown of Harbin, one of northeastern China’s largest cities, as Visibility dropped to under 10 meters.

PM2.5 concentration of about 15 – 25 micrograms per cubic meter pose little or no risk, according to the World Health Organization.

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