China smog emergency shuts city of 11 million people
Pedestrians wearing surgical face masks walk on a street in heavy smog in Harbin city, northeast Chinas Heilongjiang province, 21 October 2013. Choking smog all but shut down one of northeastern Chinas largest cities on Monday (21 October 2013), forcing schools to suspend classes, snarling traffic and closing the airport, in the countrys first major air pollution crisis of the winter. An index measuring PM2.5, or particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5), reached a reading of 1,000 in some parts of Harbin, the gritty capital of northeastern Heilongjiang province and home to some 11 million people. A level above 300 is considered hazardous, while the World Health Organisation recommends a daily level of no more than 20.
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