Beijing, its neighbours Tianjin and Hebei Province, as well as central and western Shandong Province can expect heavy air pollution to linger for a week, according to a joint weather forecast issued by the China Meteorological Administration and the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
The PM 2.5 readings on Thursday morning in those regions exceeded 115 micrograms per cubic meter, far above the 25 micrograms level considered safe by the World Health Organisation.
The CMA expects the smog to last for a week as no cold front is in sight to help disperse it, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Heavy smog is forecast during the next three days in Beijing, the municipality's office for severe air pollution emergency response said on Thursday, issuing a yellow alert.
The yellow alert in Beijing is the first since the municipal government issued one last October. Back then it put into effect an emergency response system.
The office advised local residents to take protective measures, use public transport and reduce driving vehicles. It urged children and the elderly to stay indoors, and middle and primary schools and kindergartens to reduce outdoor activities.
The air quality index at most monitoring stations in the city's downtown areas exceeded 250 at 9 pm on Friday, the Beijing municipal environmental monitoring center said.
Beijing has a four-tier alert system - blue, yellow, orange and red - to indicate the air pollution level.


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