The air in the Chinese capital remains severely polluted despite steps being taken by authorities to tackle the problem.
Beijing city issued a red alert, the highest of its 4-level warning system for air pollution, for the first time on Monday. At that time they predicted that the present level would continue for more than 72 hours.
The city authorities began sharply restricting traffic by vehicles in the city on Tuesday. They have also suspended operations of more than 2,000 factories partially or entirely.
A telephone “smog hotline” was set up to answer questions about residents’ safety concerns.
But, the density of hazardous PM2.5 particles stood at about 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air in many parts of the city on Wednesday. This is more than 3 times the level at which Japan’s Environment Ministry calls for people to refrain from going out.
Beijing officials said the pollution level will peak on Wednesday and fall afterwards.
But air pollution in Hebei, Shandong and other areas around Beijing is also serious.
China’s state-run media reported that more than 300 million people are being affected by the heavy pollution.
They said that the dirty air can be attributed to burning coal for the heat in many farming villages. They believe it would take some time to resolve the root cause of the problem.
Source and image: NHK