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'Orange' alert issued as smog engulfs Beijing

'Orange' alert issued as smog engulfs Beijing
From Al Jazeera - January 14, 2018

Air quality was classed as "unhealthy for sensitive groups" in Beijing on Sunday, as the population braced for several days of choking smog.

An "orange" alert, the second highest in China's four-tier warning system, was put in place on Thursday.

The warning was issued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, and included Tianjin, Hebei and surrounding areas, valid from Friday until Wednesday.

As a result of the alert, heavy industries were forced to reduce output by between 30 and 50 percent. More than 700 companies are affected by the directive in Beijing alone.

The warning refers to the concentration of small particles referred to as PM2.5, which are particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres. This is less than the width of a human hair.

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