Beijing on pollution "red alert," but smog not as severe as forecast

December 19, 2015 07:32
1 minute read.


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

BEIJING - China's capital Beijing was bracing for four days of choking smog starting Saturday, but residents said the haze was less severe than forecast, with some questioning why the government had issued its highest air pollution alert.

China had warned residents across a large part of its north on Friday to prepare for a wave of severe smog arriving over the weekend, the worst of which would hit Beijing, prompting the capital to issue its second ever "red alert."

A red alert is triggered when the government believes air quality will surpass a level of 200 on an air quality index that measures various pollutants for at least three days. The US government deems a level of more than 200 "very unhealthy."

But on Saturday morning, the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center was showing an air quality reading of 104.

"Today I have to work. And where is the smog?" posted one Beijing resident on Weibo, China's Twitter equivalent.

"The smog is not so bad. Why do they have driving restrictions?" said another Weibo user in the capital.

The Beijing city government issued its first "red alert" last week following criticism that previous bouts of smog had failed to trigger the highest warning level.

In Beijing, a red alert means around half the vehicles are removed from the roads with an odd-even license plate system enforced. Schools are recommended to close and outdoor construction is banned.

The Beijing environment bureau had said the red alert would last from 7 a.m. Saturday to midnight on Tuesday.

But with the haze not as severe as predicted, the National Meteorological Center only issued a yellow alert for the city and many surrounding areas on Saturday. Yellow is the second level on China's four-tier color-coded pollution alert system.

The weather observatory said that areas including southern Beijing, central Hebei, north Henan and west Shandong would be affected by heavy smog, which would start to dissipate from Wednesday.

It advised the public to take protective measures and those that suffer from respiratory diseases were urged to stay indoors or wear face masks if they needed to go out.

Related Content

Breaking news
July 15, 2018
Key Israeli docs confirm extent of Iranian nuke plan revealed by Netanyahu