China pollution

Air pollution leaves China's Pearl River Delta region choking on smog

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2013, 4:59am

Heavy smog has been smothering the Pearl River Delta for the past week, with air pollution readings in the region hitting their highest levels of the year.

The lingering haze yesterday prompted the Guangzhou Central Meteorological Observatory to issue its first "heavy fog" warning of 2013 as visibility in Guangzhou fell to 700 metres.

Much of northern China is also choking on persistent smog, and another wave of it was expected to hit the region today. More than 13 provinces and municipalities have been affected, particularly Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province.

Of the 62 air-quality monitoring stations in Guangdong, 70 per cent showed levels of PM2.5 particles exceeding national air-quality standards, China News Service reported. Eight of those stations rated the air as severely polluted - in the Shiqiao area of Guangzhou's Panyu district, Xiping in the Nancheng district of Dongguan , Jinjizui in the Shunde district of Foshan , two places in Zhongshan , and in the Xiqu, Beijie and Donghu areas of Jiangmen.

Meanwhile, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported that Monday was the most polluted day in Guangzhou so far this year.

Guangdong's Environmental Monitoring Centre said air quality would not improve until the weekend, when a cold spell was expected to hit the province.

The Southern Metropolis Daily also reported yesterday that Guangdong was planning to release forecasts of air-quality-index readings this year.