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Beijing under orange smog alert, people advised to stay indoor

Staff Writer |
Beijing Friday issued an orange alert for air pollution in the coming days, advising children and the elderly to stay indoors.

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The alert, the second highest level, will come into effect from Saturday, said Beijing's air pollution emergency response office.

Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and their neighboring regions are forecast to see slight to severe air pollution from Saturday to next Wednesday, said the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

In Beijing, the air will gradually improve from Tuesday night when a cold front arrives, the ministry said.

The office advised children, the elderly and those suffering from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases to stay indoors, and kindergartens, primary and middle schools to cancel outdoor activities.

The office ordered some manufacturers to reduce production and some construction sites to halt work. Heavily polluting vehicles and trucks carrying construction waste and dirt were banned from roads.

According to the local air pollution emergency response plan, an orange alert should be issued when the average air quality index (AQI) is forecast to exceed 200 for three consecutive days and and one of those day is forecast to be over 300.

Under China's four-tier warning system, red is the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

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