smog - updates

Rappler's latest stories on smog

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India's top court orders halt to stubble burning as Delhi chokes

Nov 05, 2019 - 4:53 PM

India's Supreme Court says the capital's residents are 'losing precious years' of their lives, adding 'people are dying, this just cannot happen in a civilized country'

AIR POLLUTION. A volunteer from civil defense displays a placard after the local government ordered half of the city's private cars to be taken off the road based on an odd-even registration plate system to help reduce air pollution, in New Delhi on November 4, 2019. Photo by Money Sharma/AFP

Taj Mahal gets air purifier as Indian capital chokes

Nov 05, 2019 - 8:48 AM

'There is smoke everywhere and people, including youngsters, kids, elderly are finding it difficult to breathe,' says Delhi's chief minister in a Twitter video. 'Eyes are burning. Pollution is that bad.'

POLLUTION. Foreign tourists wearing face masks visit the Taj Mahal under heavy smog conditions, in Agra on November 4, 2019. Photo by Pawan Sharma/AFP

Millions in Indian capital endure 'eye-burning' smog

Nov 04, 2019 - 1:38 PM

The current smog crisis is the worst in 3 years, and New Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is calling for a range of measures to fight what he describes as 'unbearable pollution'

NEW DELHI SMOG. People make their way on a street in smoggy conditions in New Delhi on November 4, 2019. Photo by Prakash Singh/AFP

Hundreds of schools close as toxic smog chokes Bangkok

Jan 31, 2019 - 1:13 PM

Because the Thai capital has been shrouded in murky haze for weeks, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration orders all 437 city-controlled public schools to close from Wednesday through Friday

Children wearing face masks leave school early due to pollution in Bangkok on January 30, 2019. - Toxic smog forced Bangkok authorities to issue an unprecedented order to shut nearly 450 schools on January 30, as authorities struggle to manage a pollution crisis that has stirred widespread concern. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

India pollution watchdog fines Delhi over toxic smog

Dec 04, 2018 - 3:59 PM

The National Green Tribunal penalizes the capital administration for its lack of oversight after it has emerged some polluting industries are still burning harmful waste in the open

SMOG. An Indian shepherd walks along his herd of sheep amidst heavy smog conditions in New Delhi on November 12, 2018. Photo by Money Sharma/AFP

Delhi's toxic air spikes after Diwali firework frenzy

Nov 10, 2018 - 3:00 PM

Frenzied nights of fireworks to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali turns the air in New Delhi to toxic 'airpocalypse' levels

Commuters travel amid heavy smog in New Delhi on November 8, 2018. Air pollution in New Delhi hit hazardous levels on November 8 after a night of free-for-all Diwali fireworks, despite Supreme Court efforts to curb partying that fuels the Indian capital's toxic smog problem. Money SHARMA / AFP

Doctors say no to sport in Delhi as cricketers choke in smog

Dec 05, 2017 - 1:10 PM

Unprecedented scenes of Sri Lankan cricketers wearing face masks reignites debate about hosting major sports in heavily polluted New Delhi

MASKED MEN. This file photo taken on December 3, 2017 shows Sri Lanka cricket players wearing masks in an attempt to protect themselves from air pollution during the second day of the third Test cricket match between India and Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium in New Delhi. Sajjad Hussain/AFP

Parents angry as Delhi schools reopen despite smog

Nov 13, 2017 - 9:39 PM

Doctors declare a public health emergency last week when choking smog descended in New Delhi and elsewhere in northern India, prompting authorities to close schools, ban construction and bar trucks from entering the city

HEAVY SMOG. An Indian farmer harvests mustard leaves amid heavy smog in a field on the outskirts of Amritsar on November 11, 2017. Photo by Narinder Nanu/AFP

Smog-hit Delhi calls off odd-even car rationing plan

Nov 11, 2017 - 9:32 PM

India's federal environmental court rules against requested exemptions, prompting local authorities to call off its plan to restrict private vehicle use

SMOG. An Indian family crosses a road amid heavy smog in front of the Red Fort in New Delhi on November 10, 2017. Photo by Prakash Singh/AFP

The week in photos: November 4-10, 2017

Nov 11, 2017 - 3:52 PM

This week's selection of photo highlights here and around the world

Images are projected onto the Louvre Pyramid in Paris at night on November 8, 2017 to mark the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum on Saadiyat island in the Emirati capital.More than a decade in the making, the Louvre Abu Dhabi opened its doors on November 8, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Eric FEFERBERG

Thousands of schools close as smog envelopes India, Pakistan

Nov 09, 2017 - 3:19 PM

Low winds and the annual post-harvest burning of crop stubble in Punjab and neighboring areas have caused the levels of dangerous pollutants in the air to spike to many times the levels considered safe

POOR VISIBILITY. Indian commuters ride over tracks at a railway crossing amid heavy smog in Amritsar on November 9, 2017. Narinder Nanu/AFP

Schools close amid health emergency as smog blankets India's capital

Nov 07, 2017 - 11:31 PM

The Indian Medical Association declares a public health emergency and urges city administrators 'to make every possible effort to curb this menace'

HEALTH RISK. Indian schoolchildren ride their bikes to school in dense fog and air pollution in Jalandhar on November 7, 2017. Photo by Shammi Mehra/AFP

Delhi braces for pollution 'airpocalypse' as smog looms

Oct 19, 2017 - 12:59 PM

Last year's unprecedented pollution disaster saw heavy smog hover above the capital for weeks, forcing schools to shut as authorities scrambled to contain the crisis

HAZY DAY. This file photo taken on October 31, 2016 shows an Indian cyclist riding on a street as smog envelops a monument in New Delhi, the day after the Diwali festival. Money Sharma/AFP

China tightens smog data controls amid public anger

Feb 08, 2017 - 2:16 PM

It comes after the national Meteorological Administration last month ordered local meteorological bureaus to stop issuing haze alerts raising suspicions the government was attempting to suppress information about the chronic problem

This picture taken on June 23, 2015 shows a woman riding an electric bike in smog covered Beijing. File/AFP

China tells local meteorological bureaus to stop smog alerts

Jan 18, 2017 - 1:17 PM

The notice was issued because local meteorological bureaus and the environmental protection administration often disagree when they issue smog related information

A pedestrian crosses a smog-shrouded street in Lianyungang, eastern China's Jiangsu province on December 19, 2016. Stringer/AFP

China to cut coal capacity by 800 million tonnes by 2020

Dec 31, 2016 - 7:53 PM

Coal of which China is the world s largest consumer remains an indispensable part of its economy supplying 60 of its electricity

HEAVY SMOG. This picture shows a woman riding an electric bike in smog covered Beijing. China's cities are often hit by heavy pollution, blamed on coal-burning by power stations and industry, as well as vehicle use. File photo by AFP

Choking smog clears from northern China

Dec 22, 2016 - 8:15 PM

A cold wind from the northwest arrives on Thursday December 22 blowing away the toxic pollution

A man wearing a mask visits the Forbidden City in Beijing on December 21, 2016.  Beijing issued its first air pollution red alert for 2016 on December 15, with choking smog expected to cover the city and surrounding areas in north China until December 21. / AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO

China's smoggiest city closes schools amid public anger

Dec 21, 2016 - 5:20 PM

3rd UPDATE Officials in Shijiazhuang draw flak for not immediately suspending children s classes and for making suspensions in middle and high schools voluntary

A man wearing a mask visits a park amid heavy air pollution in Beijing on December 20, 2016.  Beijing issued its first air pollution red alert for 2016 on December 15, with choking smog expected to cover the city and surrounding areas in north China until December 21. / AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO

Planes grounded as smog chokes China for fifth day

Dec 20, 2016 - 12:55 PM

Hundreds of flights are cancelled and road and rail transport grind to a halt under the low visibility conditions

A pedestrian crosses a smog-shrouded street in Lianyungang, eastern China's Jiangsu province on December 19, 2016. Stringer/AFP

China chokes under heavy smog, worse yet to come

Dec 19, 2016 - 3:19 PM

A host of emergency measures have been implemented to protect the public s health from the smog which is smothering almost 1 9 of the entire country

GRAY SKY. The skyline is seen on a heavily polluted day in Beijing on December 17, 2016. Greg Baker/AFP

Delhi shuts schools as smog sparks health 'emergency'

Nov 07, 2016 - 7:46 PM

Pollution levels have spiked in recent days as farmers in neighboring Indian states burn crop stubble after the harvest and temperatures cool trapping pollutants in a smoggy haze over the city

An Indian cyclist rides along a street as smog envelops a monument in New Delhi on October 31, 2016, the day after the Diwali festival. Money Sharma/AFP

Delhi state smog draws 'gas chamber' comparison

Nov 06, 2016 - 8:32 AM

1 800 schools are shut following one of the city s worst ever pollution spells

AIR POLLUTION. An Indian biker wearing face protection against air pollution rides on the road in heavy smog in New Delhi on October 28, 2016. Photo by Dominique Faget / AFP

India capital to install roadside air purifiers to cut smog

Oct 28, 2016 - 11:11 PM

We are planning to install air purifiers at 5 major intersections in Delhi to reduce pollution levels Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain says at a press conference

AIR POLLUTION. An Indian biker wearing face protection against air pollution rides on the road in heavy smog in New Delhi on October 28, 2016. Photo by Dominique Faget / AFP

Singapore shrouded in smog as haze returns to Southeast Asia

Aug 26, 2016 - 8:15 PM

Singapore s National Environment Agency says the Pollutant Standards Index breached very unhealthy levels of 215 during the day

2015 HAZE. The Singapore city skyline is seen shrouded in haze on October 9, 2015. File photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP

Indonesia pushes for ban on palm oil operations after forest fires

May 01, 2016 - 1:30 PM

Downside? The ban could affect the economy

TOP PRODUCER. An aerial view shows palm oil plantations in the Indragiri Hulu regency, Riau province, Indonesia. File photo by EPA

India's smog-choked capital imposes driving restrictions

Apr 15, 2016 - 11:00 PM

New Delhi brings back an odd even scheme for another 15 days in a bid to improve air quality

This file photo taken on October 15, 2015 shows commuters in their vehicles clogging a road in New Delhi. New Delhi on April 15, 2016 imposed driving restrictions that will take around a million cars off its roads for the second time this year, seeking to improve air quality in the world's most polluted capital.  / AFP PHOTO / ROBERTO SCHMIDT

Chinese smog has silver lining for mask makers

Mar 06, 2016 - 9:50 PM

The business climate improves for manufacturers of face masks air purifiers and pollution monitors

Students wearing face masks walk across the street in a line in Jinan, in east China's Shandong province amongst heavy air pollution on December 24, 2015. Ten Chinese cities were on red alert for smog on December 24, state media reported, as large swathes of the country suffered through their fourth wave of choking pollution this month. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO / AFP / STR

India's smog-shrouded capital pulls cars off roads

Jan 01, 2016 - 7:49 AM

Don t do it because the government is forcing you Do it because you feel it is important for your life your health says Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

COVERED IN SMOG. An aerial view of the Connaught Place area of New Delhi, India, as it is surrounded by smog on December 8, 2015. Photo by Harish Tyagi/EPA

Beijing pollution soars but no red alert

Dec 29, 2015 - 10:19 PM

Counts of harmful microscopic particles has reached 529 – way beyond the recommended maximum exposure of 25 over a 24 hour period

SMOG ALERT. A view of the China Central Television (CCTV) Tower (3-R) and other buildings shrouded in smog in Beijing, China, 08 December 2015. Photo by How Hwee Young/EPA

10 Christmas stories around the world you (also) probably missed

Dec 29, 2015 - 1:28 PM

Last minute preps for Christmas made me miss the news I read back on people stories that happened during the holidays and came up with this list

Toxic smog brings nightmare 'white Christmas' to Beijing

Dec 25, 2015 - 5:31 PM

In this kind of weather can Santa Claus even find Beijing? a social media user writes

WHITE CHRISTMAS? Beijing residents woke up to a 'white Christmas' on December 25 morning but with the sky covered by thick toxic smog rather than snow. Photo by Wang Zhao/AFP

10 Chinese cities issue pollution red alert – state media

Dec 24, 2015 - 8:10 PM

Nearly 100 million people in China are warned to stay indoors after the issuance of red alerts for smog

Miss Universe, election polls, Lim Eng Beng | 6PM wRap

Dec 21, 2015 - 6:42 PM

Watch the 6PM edition of Rappler s newscast The wRap

Thousands of plants cut production as Beijing smog persists

Dec 21, 2015 - 3:44 PM

The Chinese capital imposed the highest tier of a 4 color smog warning system for 4 days starting Saturday December 19

A view of a hazy horizon along a main road in Beijing, China, 19 December 2015. Rolex dela Peña/EPA

Beijing's second red alert issued due to choking smog

Dec 19, 2015 - 8:56 PM

The capital s environmental bureau orders factories to close and pulls half of all private cars off the streets as bad air floods into the city for the third airpocalypse of the month

HAZY HORIZONS. A view of a hazy horizon along a main road in Beijing, China, 19 December 2015. Rolex dela Pena/EPA

Beijing issues second red alert ahead of smog

Dec 18, 2015 - 12:46 PM

It will be the second time the highest level alert has been issued since the city established a pollution warning system in 2013

SMOG ALERT. A view of the China Central Television (CCTV) Tower (3-R) and other buildings shrouded in smog in Beijing, China, 08 December 2015. Photo by How Hwee Young/EPA

Beijing traffic slashed in smog alert

Dec 08, 2015 - 11:51 AM

Levels of PM2 5 – harmful microscopic particles that penetrate deep into the lungs – reach above 300 micrograms per cubic meter The World Health Organization s recommended maximum exposure is 25

SMOG ALERT. Chinese workers work on a unfinished building during a hazy day in Beijing city, December 1, 2015. Photo by Wu Hong/EPA

Beijing declares first-ever red alert for pollution

Dec 07, 2015 - 9:54 PM

A red alert issued when severe smog is expected to last more than 72 hours is the highest of Beijing s warning system

China smog

Beijing issues orange alert for heavy smog

Nov 29, 2015 - 9:02 PM

Levels of PM2 5 – particles which can penetrate deeply into the lungs – reach more than 15 times recommended levels

HEAVY SMOG. This picture taken on June 23, 2015 shows a woman riding an electric bike in smog covered Beijing. China's cities are often hit by heavy pollution, blamed on coal-burning by power stations and industry, as well as vehicle use. Photo by AFP

Southeast Asia breathes sigh of relief as rains ease smog crisis

Oct 29, 2015 - 2:41 PM

Parts of Indonesia Malaysia and Singapore enjoyed their clearest skies in weeks while affected areas of the Philippines and Thailand also have seen an end to air pollution

HOPE. Rains are bringing hope that the haze crisis could end. Photo by Bagus Indahono/EPA

'No escape': The desperate state of Indonesians living in haze

Oct 26, 2015 - 5:04 PM

Usually we just endured it even though we had headaches and felt nauseous But it has got so bad lately that I can t take it anymore I can t even breathe fresh air

EPICENTER. In Palangkarya, the smoke from forest fires are a thick, acrid yellow. Photo from EPA

Philippines cancels flights, alerts hospitals over haze

Oct 25, 2015 - 7:23 PM

Filipino authorities warn ash levels are becoming increasingly dangerous in the southern and central islands

AFFECTED. The haze from forest fires from Indonesia have begun to affect cities in Mindanao. Photo by Editha Caduaya/Rappler

Indonesia readies warships for haze evacuation

Oct 24, 2015 - 3:06 PM

Indonesian disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says fires caused by slash and burn farming had killed 10 people

ON STANDBY. Indonesian Navy ship KRI Banda Aceh, one of the vessels ready for the evacuation plan. Photo by Adek Berry/EPA

'Worst haze in a decade' blankets southern Thailand

Oct 22, 2015 - 2:10 PM

Thai officials Thursday said air quality had dipped to unhealthy levels in 7 southern provinces with particularly high readings in southwestern Songkhla province where some flights have been delayed or turned back

SUFFOCATING HAZE. Haze suffocates parts of Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. ABDUL QODIR / AFP

Indonesia forest fires produce more greenhouse gas than all US economic activity

Oct 21, 2015 - 5:19 PM

The shock assessment came as Jakarta said the number of blazes was increasing across the archipelago despite a multinational fire fighting effort

GREENHOUSE GASES. The forest fires from Indonesia are emitting more greenhouse gases than all US economic activity according to a report. Photo by Bagus Indahono/EPA

The wRap Indonesia: Helicopter missing, scores dead in Turkey blast

Oct 12, 2015 - 6:00 AM

Other top stories include the arrival of international aid to combat forest fires and a long term investment between Indonesia and PT Freeport Indonesia

INTERNATIONAL HELP. Malaysian aircrew members stand in front of the Bombardier 415 Superscooper aircraft as they arrive at Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin airport in Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia to help combat forest fires. Photo by EPA

International aid arrives in Indonesia to help combat forest fires

Oct 10, 2015 - 1:36 PM

Six countries will help Indonesia to fight forest fires which have sent choking smog across parts of Southeast Asia

INTERNATIONAL HELP. Malaysian aircrew members stand in front of the Bombardier 415 Superscooper aircraft as they arrive at Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin airport in Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia to help combat forest fires. Photo by EPA

The wRap Indonesia: Jokowi accepts help to combat haze, Obama apologizes

Oct 09, 2015 - 6:00 AM

Other stories include the recovery of bodies of plane crash victims increased US maritime assistance and reactions on the bullet train deal with China

WORST EVER. Haze from land and forest fires is an annual hazard in Indonesia. The practice of open burning to clear land is illegal but is common in the country, but this year's fires could be the worst ever. EPA/TAMY UTARI

Indonesia finally accepts international help to combat fires

Oct 08, 2015 - 2:29 PM

Authorities had rejected offers of help from affluent Singapore but officials said Indonesian President Joko Widodo has decided that international assistance would now be accepted

WORST EVER. Haze from land and forest fires is an annual hazard in Indonesia. The practice of open burning to clear land is illegal but is common in the country, but this year's fires could be the worst ever. EPA/TAMY UTARI

Drone footage of Indonesia shows smoke rising from forest, blackened trees

Oct 08, 2015 - 1:56 PM

The drone footage filmed by Greenpeace showed acrid haze rising from dense jungle trees reduced to fire blackened skeletons vast swathes of burnt peatland and a city shrouded in haze on the Indonesian part of Borneo

WORST EVER. Haze from land and forest fires is an annual hazard in Indonesia. The practice of open burning to clear land is illegal but is common in the country, but this year's fires could be the worst ever. EPA/TAMY UTARI