Beijing Issues Red Alert Again; Smog Worst Saturday To Tuesday

December 18, 2015
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Air pollution is at the highest level in Chinese capital Beijing. The city has warned people of heavy incoming smog over the weekend and has issued Friday red alert for the second ever time starting Saturday.

The National Meteorological Center has forecast over three consecutive days of severe smog. It said the smog would stretch from Xian to Shenyang and Harbin through Beijing.

According to authorities, the worst pollution is expected to begin Saturday evening and to last until Tuesday and Beijing’s visibility to fall less than 0.6 miles.

Government guidelines suggest people to remain indoors after the pollution index exceeds 300 and from Saturday to Tuesday the pollution levels in Beijing and parts of Hebei province may exceed 500.

The first red alert in the capital was issued on December 7 and it restricted traffic as well as halted outdoor construction. Schools were closed too to encourage students to remain indoors.

The second red alert after more than 100 countries reached to a landmark climate agreement in French capital Paris earlier this month to arrest global warming. China’s leadership too has vowed at the summit to tackle heavy air, water and soil pollution.

A red alert, out of four-tier, is triggered when the air quality surpasses level of 200 on an air quality index.

A red alert in Beijing means half of the vehicles will be removed from roads following odd-even formula based on license plate system along with closure of schools and shut down of outdoor construction.

Colored alert system is also set up in other cities of China. Shenyang has issued orange alert over the weekend encouraging people to spend less time outdoors.

Tianjin is also on plans of removing about fifty percent of the cars from road.

Most of the air pollution in China is blamed on coal-fired power plants, construction and factory work, and vehicle emissions as well. The country is biggest carbon emitter in the world.

At the recent climate summit China vowed to upgrade its coal power plants to help tackle the mounting air pollution problem in the country.

For more than 60 percent of the power the country is currently depending on coal. Beijing said the emissions will peak by around 2030 and thereafter it will decline.

According to a study, about 4,000 premature deaths take place due to China’s smog a day.

Earlier this month the Environmental Protection Minister Chen Jining said agencies and officials will be punished if fail to implement pollution emergency response plan quickly.

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