authorities in the Chinese capital, Beijing, have issued their highest
smog warning so far this year.
The "orange level" alert declared on Sunday is the second highest
possible, requiring factories to cut production.
On Sunday, some pollution readings in parts of the city reached about 17
times the level considered safe by the World Health Organisation.
Air pollution is a chronic health-risk for those living and working in
the capital and other major Chinese cities.
China’s state media says the declaration of this orange level alert
requires industrial plants to reduce or shut down production.
Building sites are not allowed to transport materials or waste and
heavy-duty trucks are banned from the city’s roads.
Some reports suggest that visibility has fallen to a few hundred metres
in some places.
At noon on Sunday, the air pollution monitor operated by the US Embassy
in Beijing reported that the intensity of the poisonous, tiny particles
of PM 2.5 reached more than 400 micrograms per cubic metre in some of
the worst-affected areas.