Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

SOUTH AFRICA'S RAMAPHOSA HAILS 'NEW DAWN' IN STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

A controversial Chinese New Year

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

New Beginning? Ramaphosa Replaces Zuma in South Africa

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

On the green slopes: An eco-friendly revolution in French ski resorts?

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The Élysée palace, France's presidential powerhouse

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Is the aviation industry free-riding on climate change efforts?

Read more

FOCUS

The revival of the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Girls in Malawi victims of 'sexual cleansing' ritual

Read more

REVISITED

Video: How the 2014 Winter Olympics transformed Sochi

Read more

Asia-pacific

Heavy smog hits Shanghai as China’s bad air spreads

© A man wearing a face mask on a heavily polluted day walks along the Bund in front of the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai on December 15, 2015

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2015-12-15

Smog in Chinese metropolis Shanghai hit its highest level since January on Tuesday, prompting schools to ban outdoor activities and authorities to limit work at construction sites and factories as polluted air spreads around the country.

Last week, hazardous pollution levels in Beijing triggered the capital’s first “red alert,” meaning vehicles were ordered off the roads, classes were cancelled and heavy vehicles banned.

Shanghai’s heavy smog arrived just a day before the city hosts the closely-watched World Internet Conference, which will include a speech by President Xi Jinping. Attendees are expected to include global tech industry titans and the leaders of countries such as Russia and Pakistan.

On Tuesday, a curtain of grey smog fell over Shanghai, China’s business capital with a population of over 20 million. It limited visibility and drove the city’s air quality index (AQI) above 300, a level deemed “hazardous” on most scales and which can have a long-term impact on health.

The levels of PM 2.5, dangerous tiny pollutants, hit 281, the highest since mid-January, according to data compiled by the U.S. Department of State. PM 2.5 particles are a major cause of asthma and respiratory diseases, experts say.

“Because of (the smog) my kid often gets sick, often has a stuffy nose and a cough,” said Valen Wang, 40, a full-time mother in Shanghai.

“At the moment, the pollution feels like it just keeps on getting worse, and all we can do is slow it down a little.”

Yellow alert

The smog prompted Shanghai authorities to issue a “yellow alert,” the third-highest level warning, and to advise elderly, young and sick residents to remain at home, avoid outdoor activity and keep the windows closed.

China’s pollution is causing a headache nationwide, with many rivers and lakes clogged with garbage, and heavy metals in the soil. Bad air sometimes causes flight delays.

The heavy smog in Shanghai also comes as provinces to the north tighten pollution regulations for steel mills and cement plants, pushing production south.

Some Shanghai residents donned masks to filter the air, while others shunned protection.

“My throat is rather dry and it hurts,” Cao Yonglong, a 30-year-old delivery man said. “I keep wanting to have a drink of water.”

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2015-12-15

  • COP 21

    China 'could reach carbon emissions peak by 2023'

    Read more

  • CHINA

    In pictures: Runners brave heavy smog at Beijing Marathon

    Read more

  • CHINA

    Thick smog brings Chinese city of Harbin to a halt

    Read more

COMMENT(S)