Smog descends again on northeast China, closing roads, airport

Reduced visibility cancels flights and closes roads in Liaoning and Heilongjiang provinces as winter closes in

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 November, 2013, 2:59pm
UPDATED : Monday, 25 November, 2013, 6:57pm

Smog lowered visibility to less than 50 meters in parts of northeast China this weekend, leading to the closure of highways and an airport.

Seven expressways were partly or wholly shut on Sunday, according to the transport authority in Liaoning province.

Farther north in Heilongjiang province, which borders Russia, more roads and an airport shut on Saturday, including Taiping International Airport in Harbin city, which cancelled all 209 inbound and outbound flights.

The airport said that flights were operating again on Sunday as visibility improved to a few hundred metres.

Last month, Harbin practically ground to a halt with a particularly bad bout of pollution that followed the switching on the city’s heating systems, which require the burning of coal. The smog stopped flights and buses and closed schools.

China’s national meteorological centre said a cold front and rain approaching from the west would gradually reduce the haze.