Beijing’s city government has ordered 1,200 factories around the Chinese capital to either shut down or reduce production in a bid to avert another “airpocalypse,” conditions where air pollution reaches unprecedented levels.
In a statement released on Saturday, the local government said an oil refinery run by the state oil giant Sinopec and a Cofco food plant, were among 500 companies required to cut output. Some 700 other firms were also ordered to suspend activities altogether.
Environmental authorities also issued a red alert that started on Friday night and will run until Wednesday amid warnings of a new round of haze shrouding different cities in northern Chinese.
The red alert, which is the highest level of a four-tier warning system, orders curbs on traffic and construction work as well as advisories for schools, hospitals and businesses in the mega city.
It is issued when the air quality index (AQI) is forecast to break 200 for over four days in succession, exceed 300 for more than two days or exceed 500 for at least 24 hours.