Smog refugees flee Chinese cities as ‘airpocalypse’ blights half a billion
Thousands head to pollution-free regions as haze descends on the country’s northern industrial heartland
Tom Phillips in Beijing
Wednesday 21 December 2016 10.05 GMT
Tens of thousands of “smog refugees” have reportedly fled China’s pollution-stricken north after the country was hit by its latest “airpocalyse” forcing almost half a billion people to live under a blanket of toxic fumes.
Huge swaths of north and central China have been living under a pollution “red alert” since last Friday when a dangerous cocktail of pollutants transformed the skies into a yellow and charcoal-tinted haze.
Greenpeace claimed the calamity had affected a population equivalent to those of the United States, Canada and Mexico combined with some 460m people having to breathe either hazardous pollution or heavy levels of smog in recent days.