Less than a month after Beijing raised its first-ever pollution red alert, a second notice was released yesterday due to the same dangerous smog.
Hazardous levels of smog are expect to blanket the Chinese capital from today until Tuesday, according to the official meteorological service. Schools will be closed early next week and Beijingers are being advised to avoid outdoor activities as a result of the toxic haze.
Sadly, Beijing is not alone in this horribly noxious situation, a large area of central and northern China - stretching from Xian to Harbin – will also be hit badly.
For those unfamiliar with China’s four-level pollution alert system, a red alert is the highest possible warning and triggers a number of restrictions on factories, construction work and vehicle use, according to BBC.
Prolonged exposure to high levels of hazardous particulate matter found in smog, with a reading of PM2.5 or higher, has been linked to lung damage and respiratory illness.
According to a peer-reviewed report published earlier this year, air pollution is responsible for one in five deaths in the Middle Kingdom. That amounts to a shocking 4,000 people per day.
While Beijingers may be understandably depressed by the latest red alert, they can take solace in knowing they don’t live in the most polluted place on the planet – that title belongs to India, which is home to 13 of the 20 most polluted cities on earth.
Can't find your way around Beijing with all the haze? We have you covered with some helpful drawings of Beijing's most notable landmarks.