[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Beijing issues new smog warning

Authorities temporarily shut down over 100 factories to try and tackle extreme air pollution in the Chinese capital.
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2013 10:35

Extreme air pollution in the Chinese capital Beijing has prompted authorities to increase the level of health warnings and order the temporary shut down of more than 100 factories.

Authorities urged the city's 20 million people on Wednesday to stay indoors and shut windows, eat a "balanced diet" and drink plenty of water. A third of all government vehicles have also been ordered off the road. 

The director of Beijing's children's hospital said earlier this week that the "continuous smoggy weather has significantly increased the number of child patients". 

One mother said she was worried that the air was worsening her son's allergic condition. 

"The weather is just too terrible. And a respiratory infection actually has a pretty big effect on these kind of kids," she said. 

Emergency measures were issued on news websites and microblogs, as well as in bulletins carried by the state broadcaster. 

'Never this bad'

"I have lived in Beijing for four years and I have not seen it this bad before," said Jiang Hua, a domestic cleaner.

Authorities announced the closure of 103 factories and ordered 30 percent of government cars off the road on Tuesday. 

More than 43,000 people had voted in favour of new laws to tackle the smog in a survey posted by Pan Shiyi, a real estate tycoon and blogger running the campaign.

Earlier this month, the US embassy in Beijing recorded that the pollution in the city was 45 times above the recommended safety levels. 

China's pollution problems are blamed on rapid urbanisation and dramatic economic development.

256

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
Treatment for autism in the region has progressed, but lack of awareness and support services remains a challenge.
The past isn't far away for a people exiled from Crimea by Russia and the decades it took to get home.
New report highlights plight of domestic helpers in the United Kingdom, with critics comparing it to kefala system.
Kurds say declaring Saddam Hussein's 1988 campaign to be a genocide could help with lawsuits and healing process.
join our mailing list