Beijing issues 2nd smog red alert of the month

BEIJING -- China's capital Beijing issued its second smog red alert of the month on Friday, triggering vehicle restrictions and forcing schools to close.

See Full Article

A wave of smog is due to settle over the city of 22.5 million from Saturday to Tuesday. Levels of PM2.5, the smallest and deadliest airborne particles, are set to top 500, according to the official Beijing government website.

That is more than 20 times the level that is considered safe by the World Health Organization.

Half the city's cars will be forced off the road on any given day, while barbecue grills and other outdoor smoke sources will be banned and factory production restricted. Schools will close and residents advised to avoid outdoor activities.

On Friday afternoon, the air was relatively good, with a PM2.5 reading of about 80 and the sun shining brightly over the city.

However, visibility in some parts of Beijing will fall to less than 500 metres (1,600 feet) on Tuesday when the smog will be at its worst, the city government website said. An almost complete lack of wind would contribute to the smog's lingering over the city, it said.

Smog red alerts are triggered when levels of PM2.5 above 300 are forecast to last for more than 72 hours.

Although the four-tier smog warning system was launched two years ago, Beijing had not issued a red alert until last week, drawing accusations that it was ignoring serious bouts of smog to avoid the economic costs.

Some residents have defied the odd-even license plate number traffic restrictions and complained about the need to stay home from work to accompany housebound children. Others have used the break from school to travel to places where the air is better, while many who stay wear air filtering face masks and run air purifiers in their homes.

Scientific studies attribute 1.4 million premature deaths per year to China's smog, or almost 4,000 per day.

Most of the pollution is blamed on coal-fired power plants, along with vehicle emissions, building construction and factory work resulting from three decades of headlong economic expansion. While Beijing's smog gets the most attention, the scourge strikes much of northern China on a regular basis, sometimes forcing the closure of highways because of poor visibility.

The world's biggest carbon emitter, China plans to reduce hazardous emissions from coal-fired power plants by 50 per cent over the next five years, and says its overall emissions will peak by about 2030 before starting to decline.

China still depends on coal for more than 60 per cent of its electricity but is in the process of shifting to nuclear, solar and wind power.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Top-ranking Baltimore officer on duty during Freddie Gray death will keep his job

    World News CBC News
    A police disciplinary board cleared the highest-ranking Baltimore officer involved in the 2015 arrest of Freddie Gray, who died from a spinal cord injury he suffered in a police van. The three-member board ruled Friday that Lt. Source
  • The National Today: Provincial pot laws mean different tokes for different folks

    Canada News CBC News
    Welcome to The National Today daily newsletter, which takes a closer look at what's happening around the day's most important stories. Sign up here under "Subscribe to The National's newsletter," and it will be delivered directly to your inbox Monday to Friday. Source
  • Puerto Rico power company CEO who signed Hurricane Maria rebuilding contract resigns

    World News CBC News
    The director of Puerto Rico's power company resigned on Friday amid ongoing blackouts and scrutiny of a contract awarded to a small Montana-based company to help rebuild the electric grid destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority (PREPA) said Ricardo Ramos presented his letter of resignation to the company's board effective immediately. Source
  • Delhi half marathon to go ahead despite smog, court rules

    World News CTV News
    The Delhi half marathon is to go ahead on Sunday despite dire health warnings from doctors after a court in the heavily polluted city refused to order a delay. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had asked the Delhi High Court to postpone the event after a spike in pollution levels that it described as a public health emergency. Source
  • Three-year sentence for Alta. woman guilty in son's death

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- A woman found guilty in her son's death by failing to seek medical treatment for his strep infection has been sentenced to three years in prison. Tamara Lovett, 48, was found guilty in January of criminal negligence causing death. Source
  • Show me the money! Candidates to replace Premier Brad Wall reveal finances

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA -- Former parks, culture and sport minister Ken Cheveldayoff has raised the most money so far in the race to replace Brad Wall as leader of the Saskatchewan Party and as premier. The party has released a preliminary financial disclosure report for all officially nominated candidates and which includes donations until the end of October. Source
  • Former Chilean president Sebastian Pinera the favourite in weekend election

    World News CBC News
    Four years after leaving office as a deeply unpopular leader, Sebastian Pinera is a strong favourite to win Sunday's presidential election in Chile, though he's unlikely to avoid a runoff. A flagging economy and other stumbles by the centre-left government of Michelle Bachelet appear to have warmed Chileans' memories of Pinera, a billionaire businessman who was plagued by massive protests over inequality and education rights but oversaw economic growth averaging 5.3 per cent yearly during his…
  • Manitoba premier hurt while hiking in New Mexico

    Canada News CTV News
    WINNIPEG -- Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has been injured while hiking in New Mexico. A government statement says the premier was hiking in the Gila Wilderness when he had a serious fall. It says he suffered compound fractures in his left arm, along with numerous cuts and bruises. Source
  • Nebraska government says latest pipeline leak won't affect Keystone XL decision

    World News CBC News
    Nebraska state officials said Friday an oil spill from the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota won't affect their imminent decision to approve or deny a route for the related Keystone XL project. A spokeswoman for the Nebraska Public Service Commission said Friday that commissioners will base their decision solely on evidence presented during public hearings and from official public comments. Source
  • Pope to feed hundreds of poor at special Sunday lunch, Mass

    World News CTV News
    VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis will be offering several hundred poor people -- homeless, migrants, unemployed -- a lunch of gnocchi, veal and tiramisu when he celebrates his first World Day of the Poor in the spirit of his namesake, St. Source