New round of smog shrouds large areas of China

World Today

Photo: Xinhua

China’s National Meteorological Center issued a yellow alert for air pollution Tuesday morning, warning a new round of heavy smog will hit north of the country, including Beijing, Tianjin, and the neighboring province of Hebei.

The smog is likely to engulf the capital entering the New Year as the pollution will reportedly get worse from Thursday onwards.

China has a four-tier warning system for weather conditions with red as the most severe followed by orange, yellow, and blue.

Levels of PM2.5 in parts of Beijing topped 250 micrograms per cubic meter as of 7 p.m. on Tuesday, according to Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center. Wednesday Beijing stands at 10 times the level considered safe by the World Health Organization, which is 25.

In the previous rounds of heavy pollution, PM2.5 in many parts of the city had reached up to 500 micrograms per cubic meter, which is deemed to be hazardous to humans.

So far, Beijing has seen only four days of blue skies in December, with two rounds of red alerts and another two rounds of yellow alerts. 

China’s northern province of Shanxi, central province of Henan, and Shandong Province in the east, and also Shaanxi Province in the northwest, and Sichuan Province in southwest will also face air pollution problems this week.

A cold front will gradually disperse the smog lingering around North China and regions along the Yellow River and Huaihe River on Wednesday, according to the NMC.