Pollution twelve times as high as is considered safe has led Beijing officials to issue a red alert. Half of all cars have been ordered off the roads and factories have stopped production. But some find a silver lining in the cloud of smog.
A five-day smog red alert has been declared across several cities in northern China, including the capital, Beijing. Authorities ordered factories to shut or cut output to stem hazardous air particle levels.
As a five-day "red alert" continues across northern China, roads have been closed, flights have been cancelled and hospital visits have spiked due to the thick smog. Forecasters have warned that the worst is yet to come.
Automobiles have been restricted, residents told to limit time outdoors, and construction sites and schools closed in the Chinese capital under the first city-wide red alert for pollution.
Across the country more than 450 million people encountered air that was polluted or hazardous during the past year. Some pollution levels over the past four days exceeded the capacity of the measuring devices.
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