BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s capital Beijing on Friday issued its first air pollution alert for the winter season ahead of a wave of smog that is expected to blanket the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region for the next three days.
The yellow level alert, the third-highest in China’s pollution warning system, was issued by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Ecology and Environment for the period from Nov. 24 to Nov. 26.
Construction sites and heavy industry will have to halt operations over the period, while the city will increase checks on diesel vehicles and outdoor barbecue restaurants to ensure they meet emission standards.
At least 28 cities in Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong and Henan province have also issued orange-level smog alerts, the second-most severe after red, for the same three-day period, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said.
The port city of Tianjin also issued yellow-level alert, effective from Nov.23, the city government said.
Northern China often sees heavy smog over the winter season, which runs from mid-November to mid-March, as homes and power utilities burn more coal for power and heating.
Last week, the concentration of small particulate matter, known as PM2.5, in Beijing reached a peak of 270 micrograms per cubic metre, according to data from China National Environmental Monitoring Centre, nearly eight times the state standard of 35 micrograms.
(Reporting by Muyu Xu and Dominique Patton; editing by Richard Pullin)