China smog choked major cities in the northern part of the country on Monday, causing businesses to close and disrupting air and ground traffic.
China’s Xinhua news agency reported that at least 23 cities issued red alerts due to the smog blanket that has covered most of China since Friday, USA Today noted.
The alerts are expected to continue through Wednesday.
News services in China posted about the problem on Twitter.
“If you are tracking back to the first day of this episode, you can see that the layer of the smog (in Beijing) is moving slowly from the south to the urban area in Beijing and then to the north,” said Dong Liansai, a climate campaigner with Greenpeace in Beijing, according to The Associated Press.
Hospitals have set up emergency procedures in anticipation of an increased number of people falling victim to breathing-related illnesses.
“The smog has serious repercussions on the lungs and the respiratory system, and it also influences the health of future generations, so under a red alert, it is safer to stay at home rather than go to school,” said Li Jingren, a 15-year-old high school student in Beijing, according to the AP.
While Tianjin and other cities have listed smog as a meteorological disaster locally, the State Council has yet to do the same on a national level.
“’Meteorological disasters’ are caused by natural conditions and cannot be controlled by human activity,” Zhang Zitai, a Fudan University professor, told Legal Daily, according to USA Today. “Smog, on the other hand, is mainly caused by human activity. Thus the plan to list it as a meteorological disaster not only goes against science, it will also create an excuse for polluters to escape their culpability.”
Air pollution has been an issue in China for many years.
Chinese artist Liu Bolin, also known as “the invisible man,” says he’s working on a project aimed at highlighting the country’s air pollution problem, Reuters noted.
Liu says he will live stream video of the smog in Beijing with the help of more than 20 smartphones.
“As an artist, to discuss it with images is what I think we should do,” Liu told Reuters.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.