Schools consider closing as air pollution hits 'severe' in Hong Kong

Schools have been ordered to cancel outdoor activities and may close completely after environmental monitors said air pollution had hit a record 'severe' level.

Hong Kong's environmental authorities are so concerned about the situation they have also ordered power companies to switch to more renewable fuel supplies.

The former British colony's suffers from poor air quality due to pollution, which is today (March 22) being aggravated by a sandstorm sweeping down from northern China.

Secretary for the environment, Edward Yau, appealed to residents to help during the storm.

He said "People can help in alleviating the situation by using public transport, switching off idling car engines, and reducing smoking.

"We will also contact power companies to see if they can use cleaner fuel for electricity generation to minimise local pollution.

"We will closely monitor the change in weather conditions and air quality, and will provide the public with the most updated information."

Hong Kong Observatory assistant director, Hilda Lam, said the situation may improve as the easterly airstream which is affecting Hong Kong will weaken in the coming two days.

The Education Bureau will also decide whether schools should suspend classes after assessing the overall situation and considering departmental advice.

Luke Walsh


| air quality


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