Heavy Smog Closes Roads, Airport in Northeast China
AP reports that heavy smog in in northeast China lowered visibility enough to close an airport in Harbin and major highways throughout Liaoning and Heilongjiang provinces:
Smog lowered visibility to less than 50 meters in parts of northeast China this weekend, leading to the closure of highways and an airport.
Seven expressways were partly or wholly shut on Sunday, according to the transport authority in Liaoning province.
Farther north in Heilongjiang province, which borders Russia, more roads and an airport shut on Saturday, including Taiping International Airport in Harbin city, which cancelled all 209 inbound and outbound flights.
The airport said that flights were operating again on Sunday as visibility improved to a few hundred metres. [Source]
Last winter, record levels of pollution in Beijing led to the coinage of the term “Airpocalypse”. This winter, in an early onset of heavy smog season in northern China, air pollution trapped many travelers finishing up their National Holiday, and later in the month particulate pollution nearly 40 times higher than the international safety standard diminished visibility and seriously complicated life in Harbin. With air quality worsening in the infamously polluted country, government officials are reportedly fashioning more proactive environmental policies. As smog billows in the urban northeast, some well-to-do recent implants in Dali, an idyllic township and backpacker’s paradise in Yunnan province, have cited pollution as one factor influencing their moves to the southwest.