China ends smog warning

China's national observatory on Sunday lifted a yellow warning for smog, as cold air will disperse lingering smog in north China in the next few days.

The National Meteorological Center said a cold front will gradually reduce the smog in north China in the next three days, but some areas will still be shrouded by light to moderate smog before Monday.

As a result, the center decided to call off the yellow warnings for both fog and smog.

China has a four-tier weather warning system, with red representing the most severe weather, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

In the past week, heavy smog lingered in most parts of north China, including Beijing and Tianjin municipalities and Hebei Province.

One year after the world's second-largest economy "declared war" on pollution following decades of pursuing growth at the expense of air, water and soil quality, air pollution remains the top concern of many citizens, particularly those living in big, industrial cities in central and eastern parts of the country.

Density of PM2.5, airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, went off the charts in northeastern Chinese provinces for the better part of last week, slashing visibility, grounding flights and closing highways.

At one point, the air-quality index (AQI) in six cities in the Liaoning Province exceeded the maximum of 500.

Back in the capital Beijing, severe air pollution lingered throughout the weekend, and only showed some signs of abating by late Sunday.

In another development, the Ministry of Environment on Sunday said emergency response measures for heavily polluting weathers had been ill implemented in the capital and its neighboring regions.

The ministry said six of its inspection teams sent to Beijing and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong and Henan on Saturday found that local governments have failed to carry out emergency measures in full.

In particular, it named the city of Shijiazhuang, capital city of Hebei Province, for failing to ban heavy and middle-sized trucks from entering the downtown area, and Beijing for failing to temporarily shut down polluting boilers and construction sites in multiple localities among others.

Another six teams sent to northeastern China, meanwhile, also reported excessive emissions by a number of coal-burning enterprises and inadequate pollution processing capabilities at others.


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