Beijing issued first-ever Red Alert on Air Pollution

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Who: First-ever Red Alert on Air Pollution
Where: In Beijing
What: Issued
When: 7 December 2015

Authorities in Chinese capital Beijing on 7 December 2015 issued its first-ever red alert on air pollution ordering schools to close due to hazardous air quality. Red alert is the highest possible state of caution.

The order was issued after acrid smog enveloped the capital for the second time in December 2015.

The order will last from 7am (local time) on 8 December 2015 morning until midday on 10 December 2015, when the weather is expected to change and blow away the smog.

The red alert was announced for the first time since an emergency air-pollution response system (four-tier system) was introduced in 2013.

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Effects of the announcement

• Half of private cars in the city will be ordered off the road during the period with an odd-even number plate system in force.
• Government agencies will have to keep 30 percent of their automobiles off the streets.
• The other extra measures to be enforced include halting outdoor construction, banning fireworks and outdoor barbecues.
• Schools and nurseries will be required to close.

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The red alert was an upgrade from an orange alert issued on 5 December 2015. Orange alert is the second-highest of the four-tier system adopted in 2013.

Orange means outdoor construction should be halted, as well as the operations of companies that emit heavy pollution.