Northern China cities face smoggy Christmas Eve

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 December, 2013, 6:16pm
UPDATED : Friday, 27 December, 2013, 3:02pm

This year’s Christmas Eve in Beijing and nearby regions is expected to be a hazy one as persistent air pollution continued into Tuesday, prompting authorities to issue smog warnings.

Air quality in most areas in central Beijing reached “heavily polluted” levels on Tuesday according to Air Quality Index figures from the Beijing Environmental Protection Monitoring Centre.

The air quality monitoring station at the US Embassy in Beijing put AQI at well above 300 at some 20 locations in the city, labelling pollution as “hazardous”, the highest level in a six-point system.

Parts of northern China’s Hebei, Henan, Shanxi, Shandong and coastal Jiangsu provinces, according to the National Meteorological Centre, have all experienced various degrees of smog caused mainly by small inhalable chemical particles that can damage human respiratory systems.

Authorities have issued yellow smog warnings, cancelled out-door activities for schools and urged members of the pubic to reduce out-door activities and to wear masks when they do go out.

The meteorological centre said the high pollution was a result of certain weather conditions that prevented pollutants from dispersing. But it estimated the pollution would start to ease by the evening of Christmas Day when a cold front was expected to blow away the pollutants and bring a drop in temperature.