A cruise ship was stuck at sea on New Year’s Eve as it was unable to dock in the heavy smog enveloping China’s Port of Tianjin.
Local media report that the vessel, with over 2,000 people on board, was finally able to dock on Monday afternoon after two days’ delay.
While the cruise ship was stuck at sea, over 1,000 other passengers were stranded at Tianjin waiting to board their South Korea-bound vessel. The latest round of smog, which started on New Year’s Eve, saw roads closed and flights out of the city cancelled.
Tianjin, one of China's busiest, stopped handling coal, iron ore and other non-liquid products, for several days in December as a result of heavy smog. Due to the heavy smog, authorities asked mills in northern China including in the top steel-producing province Hebei to restrict production.
Air quality forecasts currently list Tianjin as “very unhealthy.”
Problems continue in other cities as well, and China issued its first-ever national red alert for severe fog on Tuesday, after around two dozen of its cities across the country reported persistent air pollution problems. A red alert indicates that visibility may fall below 50 meters (164 feet).
China declared a “war on pollution” in 2014, but the nation has yet to find an effective solution to the problem.