Pollution to cast shadow over New Year’s Day in Chinese cities

Smog returned to Beijing and much of northern China late yesterday after a short respite on Saturday, with the weather authorities warning residents to prepare for moderate to heavy pollution for much of this week, including New Year’s Day.Beijing and neighbouring Tianjin, Hebei, Henan and Shandong would be covered in pollution ranging from heavy to moderate because a cold front that arrived on Saturday was not strong enough to clear the pall, the weather authorities in the capital said.It did not say which areas would be worst affected.The warning came after parts of northern China, the Yangtze River Delta and Shaanxi province were blanketed by heavy pollution from December 19 to Friday.

Beijing residents also woke to colder indoor temperatures in some areas on Saturday as the smog disrupted deliveries of natural gas, forcing the local authorities to impose temporary limits on heating.The Beijing Municipal Commission of City Administration and Environment said on its microblog that the heating limits went into effect on Saturday at government buildings, some public buildings, shopping malls, offices, and cultural and recreation venues. It said heating would be “back to normal as soon as possible” but did not specify when.


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