MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti) - Heavy smog caused by air pollution in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province of southern China is continuing into its third day and has reached hazardous levels, with the China Meteorological Administration issuing the second-highest (orange) alert.
"Heavy fog with visibility of less than 500 meters will shroud some parts in Beijing, western Tianjin, central-western Hebei and southern Henan. The visibility in some parts even will be less than 200 meters," the Meteorological Administration reported Friday.
The concentration of pollutants known as PM2.5, which causes great risk to human health, reached as high as 454 on Thursday, the worst recorded since July, according to the Beijing Municipal Environment Monitoring Center.
Schools were asked to avoid outdoor activities and reduce physical exercise classes while elderly and those with heart and lung problems were urged to stay indoors.
Six teams were dispatched on Thursday by the Environmental Protection Ministry to coordinate an emergency anti-pollution plan in the three affected provinces.
The country is batting to reduce the heavy smog levels in its cities, as the APEC summit scheduled for November in Beijing is looming. China said that it would make every effort to control pollution in the capital during the summit.
"Beijing will make every effort to prepare for the APEC meeting and we need to control air and water pollution," Guo Jinlong, Beijing's party chief, was quoted as saying by The China Daily Friday.
The measures aimed at improving the air quality for the 10 day summit starting on November 3 include restricting private vehicle use by 35 percent and suspending work at construction sites.
Further to this, November 7 to 12 will be considered non-working days for employees of government departments, institutions, and organizations in Beijing.