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Year’s worst pollution engulfs Beijing on Christmas Day

Beijing: The Chinese capital Beijing was today enveloped by this year’s worst air pollution with the smog level crossing the most hazardous mark, two days after a red alert for foul weather was lifted.

Beijing woke up to very hazy morning on the Christmas Day with reading of the PM 2.5 the smallest and deadliest form of airborne particulate matter crossing 500, the maximum level on
the US Embassy monitor.

The 500 reading regarded as the most hazardous, several times higher than the safe levels prescribed by World Health Organization, (WHO) and extremely dangerous to health.

Weather officials said even though Beijing lifted the red alert for severe pollution on Tuesday, the capital city will remain in haze for a few more days.

Beijing issued the second red alert for heavy pollution last week when smog levels were not so severe. The pollution level since yesterday is far worse than during the red alert.

The first ever red alert was issued early this month. China has a four-tier warning system, with red as the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

The Beijing municipal heavy pollution emergency response headquarters issued a blue alert for heavy pollution in the city yesterday, saying smog will hit central Beijing and southern suburbs last night.

It called on residents in these areas to take protective measures. A cold front will disperse the smog tomorrow, it added. Roughly 50 cities in northern and eastern China have issued air pollution alerts in the most recent bout of smog.