By Pam Wright
4 January 2017
(weather.com) – China issued its first-ever national red alert for severe fog Tuesday after two dozen cities reported persistent air pollution issues.
The red alert was issued by China's national observatory for parts of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, as well as in the provinces of Henan, Shandong, Anhui and Jiangsu, according to state news agency Xinhua. A total of 24 cities are currently on red alert for smog, while an additional 21, including Beijing and Tianjin, are listed for an orange alert.
The red alert mandates such measures as limiting car usage and closing factories to reduce the amount of pollutants entering the atmosphere, according to Reuters.
The regions will experience thick fog, with visibility reduced to less than a third of a mile between Tuesday and Wednesday, the National Meteorological Center reported. Visibility could drop below 200 feet in some of these regions, the center added.
Hundreds of flights have been canceled and many roads were closed because of the smog, Reuters also said. [more]
By Sue-Lin Wong and David Stanway; Editing by Nick Macfie
4 January 2016
(Reuters) – The Chinese capital issued its highest red fog alert for a second day on Wednesday, keeping highways closed in and around the city which is already under a smog alert after weeks of choking winter pollution.
China's weather bureau warned of visibility of less than 50 meters in some areas, leading many airports to cancel flights.
More than 2,000 tourists were stranded on a cruise ship for two extra days near the port of Tianjin, as smog prevented the ship from docking until Monday, the Beijing Evening News reported.
Poor visibility prompted three major northern ports to suspend the loading of ships on Tuesday, maritime safety agencies said.
Pollution alerts are common in northern China, especially during bitterly cold winters when energy demand, much of it met by coal, soars. Beijing's smog alert is at the second-highest orange only, raising questions from some living in the city. [more]