China extends orange alert
The orange alert for heavy air pollution has been extended in Chinese capital on Monday for another three days as the malignant smog continued to choke Beijing in the New Year. The high level of pollution have forced authorities to cancel hundreds of flights in the neighboring Tianjin city. A total of 309 flights have been cancelled, 15 forced to land in other airports and one returned.
The orange alert which is the second highest after the red was originally effective from Friday to yesterday but now it will not be lifted until Wednesday midnight, a statement issued by the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said.
There is criticism as to why Beijing has not declared a red alert in the last a few days despite heavy pollution levels that have reached hazardous levels in the last couple of days.
In a statement the Bureau said Air quality will improve on Monday due to weak cold air. They also mentioned that eventually It will recur to the medium or high air pollution level tomorrow and on Wednesday.
Under the emergency plan, the government had alreday banned heavy polluting Gasoline – Fuelled vehicles and trucks carrying construction garbage. Some manufacturing firms are required to cut production.
Four tier alert system
Beijing has a four tier alert system red being the highest followed by orange, yellow and blue. The orange alert means the air quality index is forecast to exceed 200 for three consecutive days. Which also means increase in pollution-PM2.5 higher than 150, for three consecutive days.
The municipal government issued the orange alert for smog and haze on Saturday night.
For controlling the heavy pollution level in the city all highways of the city have also been closed. Local weather bureau forecast the ongoing smog will continue till January 5 when a cold haze will disperse the pollution.
Major cities of china has always been the frequent victim of smog which is common in the winter in north China where cold weather and burning of the dirty coal for heating combine to exacerbate the situation.
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