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Bad air pollution in Beijing causes second day of highest-ever alert in city

The fog alert is at red, but the smog alert still only at the second-highest orange

View of highway and high-rises in background with a blanket of smog hazing over the scenery.
Pollution is especially bad during the winter, when demand for energy is higher.
Photo by Nahorski Pavel via

Crippling smog continues to be a problem in major cities across the globe. Last month, Paris experienced the worst air pollution in a decade, prompting officials to enforce a driving restriction in the capital for the third day in a row.

Today in Beijing, officials issued the highest red ‘fog’ alert for a second day, according to Reuters, closing highways in and around the city. Visibility was so bad that many airports canceled flights, and three major ports stopped the loading of ships. A cruise ship carrying 2,000 tourists was also stranded near a port because it was unable to dock due to the smog.

Manufacturers in Tangshan, a city east of Beijing in Heibi province that is China’s biggest steel-producing hub, were ordered to shut down as well. Heibi has taken serious measures to mitigate pollution, including building what will be the world’s largest dust barrier.

Still, the Ministry of Environmental Protection has only issued the second-highest orange smog alert because of forecast discrepancies, a move that has residents scratching their heads.

Via: Reuters