North China’s Shijiazhuang implements traffic restrictions amid red alert for heavy air pollution
Published: Dec 25, 2023 04:29 PM
The city of Shijiazhuang in North China's Hebei Province on December 25, 2023 Photo: IC

The city of Shijiazhuang in North China's Hebei Province on December 25, 2023 Photo: IC

City authorities in Shijiazhuang, North China's Hebei Province, issued a red alert for heavy air pollution on Monday morning and implemented a series of response measures, including restrictions on vehicles based on odd-even license plate numbers, in an attempt to mitigate the impact of severe pollution on public health, local media reported on Monday.

Air conditions in Shijiazhuang have worsened starting from Sunday, and pollutants have continued to accumulate, which may result in air quality throughout the city experiencing moderate to severe levels of pollution, according to the Shijiazhuang Daily.

In order to mitigate the impact of heavy air pollution on public health, the local government has upgraded the air pollution orange alert to a red alert as of 7 am on Monday and activated emergency response measures.

Industrial enterprises in the city should implement emission reduction requirements, while other leading and white-listed enterprises may remain at normal levels of production but are encouraged to voluntarily reduce emissions.

Except emergency rescue operations, construction activities such as spray painting and concrete mixing should be suspended, according to the local government, while comprehensive cleaning and sanitation should be strengthened throughout the city. The lighting of firecrackers, as well as the burning of straw, biomass, and garbage, are prohibited in all administrative areas of the city.

Moreover, heavy vehicles passing through the city should avoid main urban areas, while the city also implemented traffic management measures using odd-even license plate restrictions for motor vehicles from 7 am to 8 pm daily, including on holidays and weekends.

Children, the elderly, and patients with chronic diseases such as respiratory, cardiovascular, and cerebrovascular diseases are advised to avoid outdoor activities and minimize open air ventilation. Medical and health institutions should strengthen diagnosis and treatment support for patients with respiratory diseases.

The local government also called on residents to use public transportation or electric vehicles for travel and minimize the use of materials and products containing volatile organic compounds such as paints, coatings, and solvents.

On December 15, China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) released the consultation results of national air quality forecast for the second half of December, indicating that most parts of the country will experience good air quality or mild air pollution.

The MEE stated that the central and southern areas of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region may experience short-term severe pollution around Monday, with light to moderate pollution by the end of the month, and short-term severe pollution possible in some areas. The primary pollutants are mainly PM2.5 and PM10.

Global Times