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China's top steelmaking city Tangshan issues second-level smog alert from April 20

A general view shows the decommissioned Guofeng Iron and Steel plant in Tangshan, Hebei province, China, August 22, 2018. Picture taken August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Files

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's top steelmaking city of Tangshan in Hebei province issued a second-level pollution alert on Friday in response to a wave of smog expected to blanket the region, the local government said in a statement via its social media account.

The alert will take effect from April 20 to April 25.

Steel mills in the city were ordered to halt operations of sintering machines by at least 40 percent or even shut down, based on their emission levels. Meanwhile, all mills will have to halve their shaft furnace operations.

Other industrial plants in coke, casting, cement, pharmaceutical and mining sectors were also asked to curtail output during the alerts.

Diesel-fuelled trucks will also be restricted from transporting commodity materials, it said.

(Reporting by Muyu Xu and Dominique Patton; Editing by Rashmi Aich)