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

  • Trump set to meet with concerned NATO, EU leaders

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS - Visiting a city he once called a "hellhole" to meet with the leaders of an alliance he threatened to abandon, U.S. President Donald Trump will be in the heart of Europe on Thursday to address a continent still reeling from his election and anxious about his support. Source
  • Reporter alleges Montana Republican hopeful body-slammed him

    World News CTV News
    BOZEMAN, Mont. - Witnesses said the Republican candidate for Montana's sole congressional seat body-slammed a reporter Wednesday, the day before the polls close in the nationally watched special election. Greg Gianforte was in a private office preparing for an interview with Fox News when Guardian newspaper reporter Ben Jacobs came in without permission, campaign spokesman Shane Scanlon said. Source
  • UBC student blinded by domestic attack graduates law school

    Canada News CBC News
    As Rumana Monzur was guided to the podium to give a speech to fellow law graduates at the University of British Columbia, a hush fell over the crowd of more than 1,000 people gathered at the Chan Shun Concert Hall. Source
  • Mentally ill dad who killed 3 kids struggles with anger management: psychiatrist

    Canada News CTV News
    COQUITLAM, B.C. - A man found not criminally responsible for killing his three children because of a mental disorder is making slow progress but still faces serious anger issues, a psychiatrist says. Dr. Marcel Hediger told a British Columbia Review Board hearing Wednesday that it's unlikely he would recommend Allan Schoenborn be granted supervised outings into the community within the next year, saying he would first need to see a sustained period of at least six months of healthy anger…
  • Montana GOP hopeful Greg Gianforte allegedly body-slammed reporter

    World News Toronto Sun
    HELENA, Mont. — A reporter said the Republican candidate for Montana’s sole congressional seat body-slammed him Wednesday, the day before the polls close in the nationally watched special election. Greg Gianforte was in a private office giving an interview when Guardian newspaper reporter Ben Jacobs came in without permission, campaign spokesman Shane Scanlon said. Source
  • North Korea calls South Korea's border firing 'reckless'

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - North Korea has called South Korea's recent firing of warning shots at the border a "reckless military provocation" aimed at promoting anti-Pyongyang sentiments and maintaining a confrontation on the peninsula. Source
  • Republican election hopeful allegedly body-slams reporter

    World News CBC News
    Witnesses said the Republican candidate for Montana's sole congressional seat body-slammed a reporter Wednesday, the day before the polls close in the nationally watched special election. Greg Gianforte was in a private office preparing for an interview with Fox News when Guardian newspaper reporter Ben Jacobs came in without permission, campaign spokesman Shane Scanlon said. Source
  • Republican candidate charged with misdemeanour assault of reporter

    World News CBC News
    Witnesses said the Republican candidate for Montana's sole congressional seat body-slammed a reporter Wednesday, the day before the polls close in the nationally watched special election. Greg Gianforte was in a private office preparing for an interview with Fox News when Guardian newspaper reporter Ben Jacobs came in without permission, campaign spokesman Shane Scanlon said. Source
  • American Airlines was warned about disruptive man at gate, passenger says

    World News Toronto Sun
    HONOLULU — Before a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu took off carrying a passenger whose inflight behaviour prompted bomb-threat procedures and military fighter jets to escort the plane, passengers complained to American Airlines workers that the man was scaring them, a woman who was on the flight said Wednesday. Source
  • Melting pot Manchester stresses unity after concert attack

    World News CTV News
    MANCHESTER, England -- On the Manchester street they call the "Curry Mile," there are no longer just Indian or Pakistani restaurants. Instead, in a sign of the ever-changing face of this proudly multiethnic city, a hungry diner these days can choose between Halal snacks from Beirut, kebabs from Afghanistan or garishly colored sweets from India, among many others. Source