China issues yellow alert over smog

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Beijing, Dec 11: China's meteorological authorities today issued a yellow alert for a new bout of smog that is expected to hang heavy in large areas of the country.

Parts of Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Hunan and Jiangxi will be covered by smog for two days, starting today, with some regions seeing heavy pollution, the National Meteorological Center said in an online statement.

A cold front is expected to help disperse the smog tomorrow night, state run Xinhua news agency reported today. China has a four-tier warning system for severe weather, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

Pollution

Frequent outbreaks of smog have become increasingly common in the winter season in north China, where cold weather conditions and increased burning of the dirty coal for heating combined to exacerbate the situation, even though government has initiated measures to fight pollution.

In a five-year plan on environmental improvements released on December 5, the central cabinet has ordered strict control of the consumption of coal, a major source of pollution in China, for cleaner air. Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong, Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta regions, and the 10 cities with the worst air quality should realise negative growth in coal consumption, as per the plan.

PTI

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