Smoggy New Year
More than 13 cities in Hebei and Henan provinces, including Shijiazhuang and Zhengzhou, will welcome Spring Festival eve with smog, the national environment ministry said on Jan 23.
Starting Jan 23, vast regions in the provinces of Hebei and Henan will see an increase in smog, which is forecast to persist and worsen until Friday, Spring Festival eve, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said. The smog is expected to gradually disperse from north to south due to winds.
The National Environmental Monitoring Center also forecast severe smog for parts of Hebei, Shandong and Henan provinces, though it said the forecast for the coming weekend might not be accurate due to the changing weather and emissions situation.
Among the 13 cities, six were listed in the top-10 cities with severe air pollution in 2016: Hengshui, Shijiazhuang, Baoding, Handan and Xingtai of Hebei, and Zhengzhou of Henan.
The ministry has sent the forecast to the governments of these areas, suggesting they issue emergency alerts for air pollution in advance, and saying that violators will be punished severely. The ministry said it will closely monitor major emission sources such as large companies via remote sensing and online monitoring technologies.