China’s National Meteorological Centre issued a “yellow” smog alert for much of the country’s north, the fifth consecutive day of heavy pollution that has cut visibility and seen pollution reach hazardous levels, affecting areas such as Tiananmen Square (above) in Beijing.
Cyclists cover their faces on a hazy day in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China. Two of the country’s most influential news outlets were criticised after trying to put a positive spin on China’s air pollution problem. The Global Times newspaper said smog could be useful in military situations, as it could hinder the use of guided missiles, while state broadcaster CCTV listed five “unforeseen rewards” of smog, including helping Chinese people’s sense of humour.
A traffic policeman signals to drivers during a smoggy day in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province. The second day of heavy smog forced the closure of schools and highways on Monday, according to Xinhua News Agency.
A teacher helps her student put on a face mask at a school in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur, on Wednesday. The Malaysian capital remains shrouded in haze, as the environmental crisis continues after a week of thick hazardous smog covered the country and its neighbour Singapore
Lai Seng Sin/AP
A motoristcyclist wearing a face mask rides across a bridge covered by light haze in Klang, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Tuesday. Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono apologised on Monday to Singapore and Malaysia for record-setting pollution caused by forest fires in his country.
Children cover their noses near burnt land in Marpoyan Damai sub district, in the outskirts of Pekanbaru, in Indonesia’s Riau province. Haze from fires in Indonesia blanketing Singapore could persist for weeks or longer, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday, as the smoke drove air quality to “hazardous” levels and disrupted business and travel in the region.
A junk sails past the city’s skyline shrouded in a dense blanket of toxic smog in Hong Kong on April 15 2013. The air pollution index reached the “severe” level for the third time in 2013 with high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide present.