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Guangdong issues orange “fog” alert as smog smothers the province

Posted: 03/13/2014 11:44 am

It’s improved a bit today, but that hasn’t stopped sixteen cities and counties, including Guangzhou, from issuing orange “fog” alerts as thick, hazardous smog enveloping Guangdong has left several cities experiencing visibility of less than 90 meters the Nanfang Daily reported on March 12.

Thirty six cities and counties issued yellow fog warnings, which translates to a visibility of less than 500 meters. As China has a habit of passing off smog as fog, the country categorizes meteorological alerts using colour codes of blue, yellow, orange and red in order of severity.

And in case the smog wasn’t bad enough, the poor air quality will be accompanied by rain and cold weather, the report said.

To put the severity of the smog in perspective, last week, pollutant particles in the Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and Beijing-Tianjing-Hebei region were more than five times the national average, said Wu Xiaoqing, deputy minister of China’s environmental protection bureau, at a press conference on March 8.

Guangdong has vowed to improve the air quality in the Pearl River Delta by reducing its annual pollutant particulate matter (PM 2.5) concentration by 15% by the end of 2017. But judging by the current situation, things aren’t looking too promising.

Here are some photos of the heavy “fog” in Guangzhou on March 12, courtesy of People’s Daily:

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