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Beijing issues 3-day major smog alert

BEIJING Beijing declared its third major smog alert this year, and the second this month, just a day after being named the top performer among 28 Chinese cities that took special measures to rein in pollution.

Saturday's orange alert, the second highest in a four-level system after red, will run from today to Wednesday, the Beijing environmental protection bureau said in a post on its official Weibo microblog account.

The central part of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region is forecast to see medium to heavy pollution over the three days, it added.

An orange alert requires factories that make furniture, cement and other heavy industry to limit output by 30 per cent to 50 per cent. More than 700 companies figure among the affected firms in the capital.

Beijing achieved the biggest reduction in average pollution among 28 northern cities from October to February, the bulk of a winter heating season that ended on March 15, the newly formed Ministry of Ecology and Environment said last week on Weibo.

The Chinese capital's first orange alert this year ran from Jan 13 to 15, and the second from March 12 to 14. There have been no red alerts this year. - REUTERS

WORLD