Thursday, October 09, 2014

Severe air pollution hits North China, government issues orange alert

The latest wave of severe air pollution continued to smother China's northern regions including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and Henan provinces on Thursday, and is likely to last until Saturday. 

The National Meteorological Center (NMC) upgraded northern China's smog alert from yellow to orange on Thursday afternoon. Most northern regions were severely affected. The NMC forecast that Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province will all suffer from dense smog that could bring visibility down to less than 200 meters in some places on Friday, NMC said on its website.

The smog, which first hit Henan Province on Tuesday, was said to be the worst in northern China since July.

According to Beijing's contingency plans, outdoor sport events and school activities should be cancelled while an orange alert is in effect and it is suggested that residents wear masks while outside and wash faces afterwards.

Some cities in Hebei Province, such as Langfang and Handan, began to limit the number of vehicles on the road by prohibiting cars with certain license plate numbers from being driven, in an attempt to curb air pollution.

  • Two thirds of Henan's cities have been shrouded by air pollution for several days this month, and the Department of Environmental Protection of Henan Province attributed the smog to farmers burning straw in their fields, which helps crops grow, the Guangming Daily reported.

However, environmentalists do not buy the explanation offered by Henan's government.

"The occurrence of the smog is by no means an accident," Du Shaozhong, former deputy director of Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, told the Global Times.

China's current industrial production methods that rely heavily on traditional, polluting energy sources and vehicle exhaust fumes should be blamed for causing the smog, Du said.

Du called on the public and government to work together to change the production methods, to supervise emissions and to curb smoke produced by restaurants.

"Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei will never see blue skies if we do not deal with pollution caused by vehicles, burning coal and various industries," Du said.

[By Zhang Hui Source:Global Times]

1 comment:

  1. Severe smog in north China to disperse in next 3 days ...

    Severe smog and air pollution shrouding China's northern regions since Wednesday is forecast to disperse in the next three days, according to the National Meteorological Center (NMC) on Saturday.

    A strong cold front coming from west China will bring good news to the people suffering from air pollution, as strong wind and drops in temperature will hit the regions to the north of the Yangtze River in the next three days, said the NMC.

    Widespread smog has affected a large part of north China, with air conditions in northern Chinese cities including Beijing and Tianjin severe. On Saturday morning, the observatory issued an orange alert for smog and a yellow alert for fog in the two cities and the neighboring Hebei Province.

    Visibility in the above regions was reduced to as little as 200 meters on Saturday morning due to the fog and smog, according to the NMC.

    The approaching typhoon Vongfong would also help clear the air as strong winds would come along with it in the eastern coastal areas in the next three days, said the NMC.

    China has a four-tier color-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe warning, followed by orange, yellow and blue.


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