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Haunting Pictures Of The Chinese City Shut Down For Emergency "Smog Day"

The choking pollution from the smog is 40 times what the World Health Organization deems as safe.

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Thick smog virtually shut down a Chinese city of 11 million today, with schools and the airport both being closed.

Harbin, the capital of the Heilongjiang province, is said to have visibility of less than half a football field.

According to Reuters, "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."

A level above 300 is considered hazardous, but the World Heath Organization recommends daily levels of no more than 20.

Local media reported that heavy smog affected most of the major cities in northeastern China on Monday morning.

The Xinhua news agency blamed the emergency on many turning their heat on for the first time that season.

The smog is expected to continue for 24 hours.

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