Heavy smog continues to shroud Northeast China

World Today

Chinese player Wang Wiyu, bottom, hits a return shot against her compatriot Wang Xin Yu during their women’s singles match at the China Open tennis tournament with a backdrop of the National Tennis Stadium surrounded with smog in Beijing, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Heavy air pollution continues to hit Beijing and surrounding areas and will not disperse until Tuesday night, the city’s weather bureau said Monday.

According to the bureau, the concentration of hazardous fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 in Beijing was between 100 and 200 micrograms per cubic meter, indicating moderate pollution.

The city issued its first yellow alert for air pollution in the second half of this year on Sunday, triggering restrictions on work at construction sites, outdoor barbecues and burning straw.

Meteorological experts expect north China to face more smog in autumn and winter, given unfavorable weather conditions this year.

North China’s Tianjin Municipality issued a yellow alert for air pollution and activated an emergency response on Monday.

According to the city’s meteorological bureau, the Air Quality Index (AQI) reading was 173 at noon, with PM2.5 being the primary pollutant.

The bureau said rain on Tuesday will help, but the smog will not be dispersed until a cold snap forecast to arrive Wednesday.

Emergency measures were taken following the alert. Factories were partially closed, work on construction sites was suspended, street cleaning was intensified and public transportation was encouraged.

Citizens were also advised to stay indoors and avoid outdoor activities.

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

Story by Xinhua News