Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Intense pollution fouls Hong Kong air

The internationally recognized view across Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour is obscured by Monday's haze.
The internationally recognized view across Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour is obscured by Monday's haze.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Air pollution reaches near-record levels, Hong Kong government says
  • Officials: Sandstorm in mainland China causing the pollution

Hong Kong, China (CNN) -- Air pollution at or near record levels in Hong Kong on Monday was caused by a sandstorm from northern China, environmental officials said.

The Environmental Protection Department urged people, especially those with breathing or heart problems, to stay indoors and limit physical exertion.

Schools had been ordered to cancel sports activities, said Environment Secretary Edward Yau, according to Radio Television Hong Kong, a public television station.

Hong Kong's air pollution has grown progressively worse during the past two decades, as pollution from mainland China has blended with pollution generated by Hong Kong.

Watch video of sandstorm blanketing Beijing Video

Video: Worse sandstorm in years
RELATED TOPICS
  • Hong Kong
  • China

Over the years, poor air quality has even affected the view across Victoria Harbor, which separates Hong Kong Island from the Kowloon Peninsula by less than 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) at the narrowest point.

On days with heavy pollution, the vibrant lights and skyscrapers on either side of the harbor cannot be seen from the other side.