Highways airports closed in Chinese cities due to heavy haze

Several Chinese cities on Sunday closed expressways and cancelled flights as heavy fog and smog continue to grip a large part of the country.

Beijing: Several Chinese cities on Sunday closed expressways and cancelled flights as heavy fog and smog continue to grip a large part of the country.

Almost all expressways in eastern Jiangsu province were closed this morning, traffic officials said.

In Nanjing, the provincial capital, visibility dropped to below 50 meters in some areas, and the airport reported delays or cancellation of more than 100 flights, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Traffic was also temporarily suspended on several expressways in Beijing, which became smoggy yesterday.

The coastal city of Qingdao in Shandong Province reported dense fog today, with closures of several expressways and delays of over 50 flights.

The city also closed its port, and more than 70 ships have been stranded.

Reports say heavy haze still shrouded northern and eastern China.

The smoggy weather affected a large swathe of the country`s land from north to south, including Beijing, Hebei, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Hunan, Guangxi and Guangdong, with visibility less than 50 meters in some regions.

Large parts of China have seen foggy or smoggy weather since the start of December.

National Meteorological Center today upgraded its smog alert to orange, the second highest in its four-tier warning system.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection earlier this week blamed unfavourable weather patterns, vehicle exhaust and coal burning for winter heating for the problems.

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