Orange alert issued in China's north for heavy smog

Second most severe warning issued for extremely heavy smog, air pollution enveloping capital Beijing, Hebei province.

Orange alert issued in China's north for heavy smog

World Bulletin/News Desk

China’s national meteorology agency has issued an orange alert – the second most severe warning - for extremely heavy smog and air pollution enveloping northern areas, including capital Beijing and Hebei province.

Beijing’s Meteorological Observatory raised the warning level from a yellow alert Thursday, with the National Meteorological Center predicting that the pollution problems would persist until Friday morning, according to state news agency Xinhua. 

The agency, however, said the smog could disperse over the next three days as a cold front is expected to move eastward from northwestern Xinjiang province.

With visibility in Beijing dropping to below one kilometer, roadways connecting the capital to southern and northern provinces have been closed to traffic.

Dense traffic during China’s national holiday at the start of October and increased production at factories afterwards is believed to have led to higher pollution levels.

As pedestrians could be seen wearing masks as they strolled Beijing’s streets Thursday, children and the elderly – as well as people with respiratory difficulties – were advised to remain indoors.

China’s water and air supply are troubled with a "critical level" of pollution, and analyses revealed last year that only three of the country’s 74 cities met national air quality standards.

The Chinese government has been striving to tackle the issue of air and environmental pollution - especially since the beginning of this year.

Due to rapid development and industrialization, however, many of the country’s biggest cities rank among the most polluted urban centers in the world.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Ekim 2014, 22:38