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City activates year's first pollution alarm
01.17.2018

    City activates year's first pollution alarm

     

    Dense fog across Shanghai yesterday morning caused flight delays, shut down ferry services, and saw speed limits imposed on expressways. About 50 flights were canceled and nearly 100 were delayed at the city’s Pudong and Hongqiao international airports early yesterday. Another 50 flights at both airports were diverted to other destinations. The fog could stick around today and turn into smog, as Shanghai activated this year’s first blue air pollution alarm at 8pm last night after the air quality index (AQI) reached 202, or heavily polluted. Citizens are advised to avoid outdoor activities. The city’s poor diffusion, caused by humidity and lack of wind, as well as pollutants carried into the city by a cold front from the north, are the major causes of this round of pollution.

    Shanghai activated 2018’s first blue air pollution alarm at 8pm yesterday after the air quality index (AQI) reached 202, or heavily polluted.

    The blue air pollution alarm means construction sites should suspend outdoor operations and heavy industry factories, especially those discharging large amounts of volatile organic compounds, should cease production to reduce waste discharge.

    The blue alarm, lowest in the four-tier system, is activated when there is moderate pollution (AQI between 151 and 200) and short-time heavy pollution (over 200) predicted in the next 24 hours.

    Citizens, especially those with heart and lung diseases, are advised to avoid outdoor activities.

    The city’s poor diffusion caused by humidity and lack of wind, as well as pollutants carried into the city by cold front from the north, are the major causes of this round of pollution, according to the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.

    The city’s AQI will fall to between 120 and 140, or slightly polluted, this evening. The situation will further improve tomorrow with the index forecast to be between 105 and 125 — still slightly polluted.

    By Friday, Shanghai’s air quality will be back to good with AQI falling to below 80, according to the center.

    The cold front will lower the temperatures in the city starting from tomorrow. According to Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, today will be cloudy with temperatures ranging between 14 degrees Celsius and 8.

    Thursday will see 12 and 6 degrees. Drizzle is forecast for late Friday with temperatures dropping between 11 and 7 degrees.

    Also, fog is expected this morning again after Shanghai triggered a second-highest level fog alert yesterday, said the meteorological bureau.

    High level of humidity and lack of wind, as well as low clouds led to dense fog yesterday morning, covering Songjiang, Minhang, Jinshang, Fengxian, Chongming and Pudong where visibility dropped to less than 200 meters.

    The meteorological authority triggered an orange color fog alert, the second-highest of the three-tier system, at 5:46am.

    Safety measures had been implemented around the city to ensure public safety in the thick fog. Speed limits were imposed on expressways. The police force has been nearly doubled to help manage the traffic under heavy fog. An emergency lane was opened on Xupu Bridge for moped and bike riders to cross the Huangpu River. All ferry services across the River were shut down yesterday morning.

    The fog started to disperse from noon. No serious road accidents had been reported in Shanghai, said traffic police. About 50 flights were canceled and nearly 100 were delayed at Shanghai’s Pudong and Hongqiao airports early morning.