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Shanxi Province, China

Prior to 1978, Linfen, now a city of  4 million people, was famous for its spring water and rich agriculture and was  nicknamed "The Modern Fruit and Flower Town".
China's rapid industrialisation and urbanisation from the 1990s led to a rapid expansion of loosely regulated mining, smelting and other heavy industries around the city and catastrophic environmental damage.
At its low point in 2004, only 15 days a year had an acceptable level of air pollution. The city has ranked at the bottom of the World Bank's air quality rankings. Although measures have been taken to combat pollution, a 2019 Chinese ministry report found Linfen still to be the worst of the 168 Chinese cities they monitored.

Approx area depicted: 2,300 km2
Date of image: 2021


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