Beijing has declared its first ever red alert for pollution

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China’s capital Beijing has issued its first ever red alert since an emergency air-pollution response system was announced in 2013. The red alert which is the most serious warning level on a four-tier system has been declared because the city has been covered with heavy cloud of dangerous smog. The city had already been in a state of orange alert, after which construction and industry were curbed.

Orders passed by Chines govt following red alert :-

  1. Kindergartens, primary schools, and high schools have suspended classes till the situation gets normal.
  2. Outdoor construction has been shut down, and some industrial plants have also been closed.
  3. Limits have been placed on car use and some factories have been ordered to stop operations.
  4. The order will last from Tuesday morning local time until midday on Thursday, when the weather is expected to change and blow away the smog.

Beijing’s privately owned cars will be forced off the roads, with locals being permitted to drive on alternate days depending on whether they have odd or even numbers on their licence plates. An extra 2 million passengers expected to use buses and trains each day. The city will add up to 25,000 buses to the roads to handle the people load.

Comment 

China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases is facing serious problems. In some parts of Beijing, people can only see around 200m. The air is also packed with poisonous particles. Air pollution monitors showed areas of Beijing had more than 256 micrograms per cubic metre of the poisonous particles.

What is Particulate matter (PM) 2.5 ?

  • Particulate matter 2.5 refers to tiny particles or droplets in the air that are two and one half microns or less in width, they reduce visibility and cause the air to appear hazy when levels are elevated.They are  concern for people's health when levels in air are high. 
  • Exposure to fine particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. They can also affect lung function and worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease.

With air quality levels in Delhi dipping drastically and particulate matter levels shooting up to 350-360 micrograms per cubic metre, Delhi govt has no emergency alert systems to inform the public.

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