Beijing Shuts Highways, Outdoor Activities in Schools Due to Heavy Smog
Heavy smog engulfed Northern China and in some areas, visibility levels were less than 200 metres.
Highways and playgrounds in the schools of Beijing were closed off by the government on Friday, 3 November, due to intense pollution, NDTV reported.
The heavy smog comes in the backdrop of China increasing its coal production amidst a power crunch as its economy continues to reopen after months of COVID-19 induced lockdown.
A part of the reason why China is facing a power crunch is its climate commitments. China has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2060.
Heavy smog engulfed Northern China and in some areas, visibility levels were less than 200 metres, according to reports by China's weather forecasting institute.
Schools were ordered to suspend physical education classes and any other activity that required children to be outdoors.
The massive highways in huge cities like Shanghai, Tianjin and Harbin were also shut due to visibility issues.
The US embassy in the Chinese capital reported that pollution levels had reached levels that were classified as "very unhealthy" for the Chinese population.
The level of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) was around 230, creating high risk of respiratory diseases. The WHO specified limit is 15.
Beijing officials said that multiple factors like "unfavourable weather conditions and regional pollution spread" caused the smog which was likely to stay until at least evening of Saturday, 6 November.
Beijing is supposed to host the Winter Olympics in February.
New Delhi is also experiencing a surge in pollution due to Diwali celebrations involving firecrackers, and stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana.
(With inputs from NDTV)
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