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Burning straw creates heavy fog

[ 2011-10-11 10:50]     字号 [] [] []  
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Several major cities in Central China's Henan province were recently covered by thick fog partly due to farmers burning straw.

The fog, which occurred about three days ago, covered large areas of the fertile and densely populated North China Plain.

On Sunday in the provincial capital of Zhengzhou, a heavy mist caused 52 flights to be cancelled and 42 to be delayed. A major highway running north-south through the province was blocked for two hours due to poor visibility, Henan Business Daily reported.

The fog also doubled the number of patients with respiratory problems at the No 3 hospital affiliated with Zhengzhou University, the paper said.

Illegal burning of straw should be severely punished, Zhang Dawei, deputy governor of the province, said at an emergency meeting on Sunday.

Zhang said such behavior severely pollutes the air and harms people's health.

Farmers in the province have been burning straw in recent years as an easy way to dispose of agricultural waste. The practice also occurs in other provinces such as Shandong, Anhui and Guizhou, especially in the autumn harvest season.

Hiring a grating machine would cost more than 450 yuan ($70) a hectare, which is too expensive for many farmers.

A woman in her 60s in Shangshui county choked to death on Sunday after she inhaled too much smoke while burning straw in a field, the local newspaper of Henan Dahe Daily reported.

In Xinyang, the government encouraged the public to report any illegal burning of straw.


1. The fog was partly due to burning what?

2. How many flights were cancelled in Zhengzhou?

3. How much does a grating machine cost for a hectare?


1. Straw.

2. 52.

3. 450 yuan.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Burning straw creates heavy fog

About the broadcaster:

Burning straw creates heavy fog

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.