Sunday, September 21, 2014   

Serious pollution warning for Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei amid suffocating smog
(02-21 09:48)

Beijing (pictured) issued a yellow alert for heavy air pollution over the next three days. Children and the elderly are being advised to stay indoors.
The capital, its neighbors Tianjin and Hebei Province, as well as central and western Shandong Province can expect heavy air pollution to linger for a week, according to a joint weather forecast issued by the China Meteorological Administration and the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
On Thursday morning, PM 2.5 readings in those regions exceeded 115 micrograms per cubic meter, far above the 25 micrograms level considered safe by the World Health Organization.
The CMA expects the smog to last for a week.
The Beijing municipality's office issued a yellow alert, the first time since the October alert. Back then it put into effect an emergency response system.
The office advised children and the elderly to stay indoors, and middle and primary schools and kindergartens to reduce outdoor activities.
The air quality index at most monitoring stations in the city's downtown areas exceeded 250 at 9 p.m Thursday, according to the Beijing municipal environmental monitoring center.
Beijing has a four-tier alert system, using blue, yellow, orange and red to indicate the air pollution level.
A red alert indicates the most serious air pollution (AQI above 300) for three consecutive days. An orange alert indicates heavy to serious air pollution (AQI between 200 and 300) alternately for three consecutive days. A yellow alert means severe pollution for one day or heavy pollution for three consecutive days.
Despite a spate of control measures, Beijing and neighboring cities, mainly in Hebei province, are prone to frequent air pollution.
The environmental protection ministry said on Thursday that 74 major Chinese cities that are monitored had on average 62.4 percent of days in January which failed to meet quality standards.
The key air pollutants were PM2.5 and PM10, in which PM2.5, airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, was the primary pollutant in 92.5 percent of the days failing to meet air quality standards.
The 10 cities with the most serious problem were Xingtai, Shijiangzhuang, Baoding, Handan, Hengshui, Jinan, Tangshan, Chengdu, Xi'an and Wuhan -- seven of which are located around Beijing.—Xinhua

   
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Two officials prosecuted for taking bribes (09-16 17:35)

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