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Beijing on orange alert for smog
November 6, 2017, 8:49 am

In some Chinese cities in recent years, the concentration of airborne particles, called PM 2.5, averaged nine times the safe level defined by the World Health Organisation [Xinhua]

As winter quickly approaches, the Chinese capital Beijing once again finds itself in the throes of an air pollution crisis as authorities signal an orange alert for smog for the second consecutive day.

China’s color code alerts include red – as the most dangerous and lethal, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

The red code is triggered when the city anticipates four consecutive days of heavy air pollution, including two days of severe air pollution.

A red alert is also issued if the city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) reaches 500, local media have said.

The authorities are now encouraging residents to curb the use of their vehicles while more pressure is applied to construction sites to implement stricter pollution controls.

The winter months are particularly more dangerous as millions of Chinese resort to coal as a primary heating source.

The Chinese government has earmarked a plan to help some 700 villages turn to clean energy rather than coal, as well as shut down hundreds of polluting factories.

In neighboring Shanxi province, which lies southwest of Beijing, authorities are considering shifting their economy toward technology and away from coal production.

Currently, Shanxi is becoming one of the country’s mobile phone manufacturing hubs.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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