Severe pollution continues to haunt China with a spell of heavy smog enveloping the northeastern and northern parts of the country and affecting more than one-tenth of its land territory. The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) said in a statement late yesterday that around 6.30 lakh square km of land in the northeastern China and 3.80 lakh square km in the northern China have been under the influence of the latest smog spell.
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“Adverse meteorological conditions” were to blame, it said.
Seven provinces and municipalities, including Beijing and Tianjin, saw the air pollution levels on rise, with Air Quality Index (AQI) readings hitting 500 in 11 cities in northeastern China over the period of November 3-5.
In northern China, average density of PM2.5 — airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, peaked in multiple cities on Friday, but air pollution ebbed yesterday, the statement said.
It said the ministry had already sent 12 inspection teams to the Tianjin municipality and the provinces of Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning and Shandong for emergency inspections.
Problems found by the inspections teams so far included weak emergency responses and inadequate countermeasures against heavy air pollution, suspected excessive discharge by 39 enterprises, and large-scale straw burning, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.