Beijing: China’s pollution woes today worsened as four more Chinese cities joined capital Beijing in issuing their first-ever red alerts, the most serious level, for heavily polluted smog.
While port cities of Tianjin Baoding, Handan, Langfang and Xingtai issued their first air pollution red alerts, Beijing will have to grapple with the foul air till the weekend.
China has a four-tier warning system, with red as its most severe level, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
After four days of red alert, Beijing lowered it today with a warning by officials that the smog will persist till the weekend.
Schools opened today but the children were asked to remain in classrooms while the restrictions on car number plates have been lifted.
But the readings of PM 2.5, the smallest and deadliest form of airborne particulate matter, of the city lowered to 455 from yesterday’s 500 in the US Embassy pollution monitor here.
This is the second time Beijing issued red alert after the first-ever on December 6.
Guo Yingchun, spokesperson of the neighbouring provincial meteorological department, said all the province’s 11 cities will roll out strict measures including limitations on the number of vehicles on the roads.
State-run CCTV reported red smog in Nanjing city which caused concern among local people.
Officials, however, said the red colour was caused by sunlight, the report said.
The air quality in Beijing in every winter suffers as the city operates dozens of massive coal fired heaters to keep millions of homes warm. It adds to the industrial, vehicular pollution besides burning of agricultural waste in the outskirts.
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