Heavy smog brings travel chaos to eastern China
- Roads closed and flights cancelled as thick blanket of smog and fog shrouds major cities including Nanjing
- Residents warned to curb outdoor activities because of health risks
Heavy smog and fog has engulfed several provinces in eastern China, closing roads, airports and ferry terminals as the authorities issued multiple pollution alerts.
In Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, a heavy fog red alert was issued on Monday afternoon, the most severe level of a four-tier system, and an orange warning for pollution.
On Tuesday, ferry services were cancelled and many flights in and out of the city’s main airport were cancelled or delayed.
Many major roads and bridges in the province were closed and locals were advised by police to travel by train or subway.
In the nearby city of Yangzhou, most bus services were cancelled due to highway closures and around 600 passengers were given refunds.
Jiangsu Meteorological Bureau warned people to reduce their outdoor activities and take care if using the roads.
Children and the elderly, in particular, were urged to take preventive measures to reduce the health risk from the smog.
A Nanjing resident told the South China Morning Post that when she woke up in the morning and looked outside, she could barely see a thing because everything was veiled in a layer of smog.
“I had bought an air purifier a long time ago but never used it until now,” she said.
“When I walked along the road I was blanketed by the fog I wasn’t even sure whether it was day or night.”
In neighbouring Anhui province, all middle and junior schools and kindergartens have been banned from holding outdoor activities, according to an emergency notice issued by its education bureau. Schools will also be allowed to cancel classes if pollution gets heavier.
The smog is predicted to end on Saturday or Sunday as cold air travels to the region.