Beijing pollution worsens with thick smog blanket

As people in the capital city and surrounding areas experienced very heavy smog, the state television has asked them to stay indoors to avoid exposure to small thin particles floating in the air.

hidden January 29, 2013 12:06:56 IST
Beijing pollution worsens with thick smog blanket

Beijing: Pollution woes of the Chinese capital worsened today with thick smog blanketing the city
again after a brief respite as air quality reached "hazardous" level of contamination forcing people to stay indoors.

As people in the capital city and surrounding areas experienced very heavy smog, the state television has asked them to stay indoors to avoid exposure to small thin particles floating in the air.

Beijing pollution worsens with thick smog blanket

AP

The air quality index readings today showed "hazardous" level of 495 for health-threatening particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres, or PM2.5.

The city, which has been reeling under heavy winter, witnessed the same situation in the past few weeks, leaving the government in a quandary about how to deal with it.

The Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Centre termed the pollution across Beijing as severe with forecast that it is expected to persist because there is little wind to disperse pollutants.

It advised residents to stay indoors as much as possible.

Yu Jianhua from Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau said the government has to raise the threshold for new enterprises to enter Beijing in a bid to prevent further pollution.

"We'll also ask the highly polluting factories to shut down, and update the current standards to press enterprises to contribute more for a better environment," he told the state television.

Studies show that most of the pollution comes from coal burning, motor vehicles, industrial emissions and dust.

Meanwhile, low visibility caused by heavy fog forced the closure of the Qingdao Liuting Airport in east China's Shandong Province.

Nearly 2,000 passengers were stranded after 20 flights were cancelled, an airport official said, adding that heavy fog has blanketed parts of the city of Qingdao since early this morning, with visibility reduced to less than 100 metres in some areas.

Some highways were also forced to close because of the fog, according to the Shandong Expressway Group.

PTI

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