(10 days ago)
In the first week of 2017, more than half of Chinese cities suffered from air pollution, and 31 of them went on red alert (link in Chinese), which requires measures like limiting car usage and closing factories. Now China’s neighbors are sounding their own alarms about the air.
On Jan, 3, South Korea issued a warning about “severe fine dust levels,” and Seoul warned of “ultrafine” particles for the first time since November 2015. The country’s environmental research institute advised people to stay indoors, and local newspaper Chosun reported that “a thick blanket of toxic haze from China” descended on most of Korea around New Year’s Day.
Taiwan— just dozens of nautical miles from China’s southeastern Fujian Province—also issued warnings against outdoor activities, as air quality index (AQI) in southern Taiwan reached code-red levels, according to the region’s Central News Agency.
(9 days ago)
Southern China Is Blanketed in Smog as Beijing Gets Slight Reprieve
HONG KONG — With pollution levels receding in Beijing, parts of southern China, including Hong Kong, experienced dangerous levels of smog Monday as weather patterns pushed bad air into the region.
The worsening conditions caused the Hong Kong government to warn of a “very high” health risk, particularly for the elderly, children and those with existing respiratory conditions.
The level of PM2.5 pollution, the fine particulates that pose the greatest danger to health, exceeded 190 micrograms per cubic meter on Sunday in Hong Kong, and the high levels continued into Monday. The World Health Organization recommends daily exposure of no more than 25 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter, and levels above 150 are considered “unhealthy.”
Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department blamed shifting weather patterns for the pollution, as sunny and dry conditions on Sunday essentially trapped haze over the region.