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13 Jan 2013 12:19 GMT
Dense smog has shrouded Beijing, China\(***)s capital with pollution at hazardous levels since Thursday
The air quality in Beijing is rated as (***)hazardous(***) according to air pollution readings by monitors at the US embassy in the city
Air quality is hazardous when readings on the index hit between 300 and 500. But levels have gone off the index with reported readings above 700
Greenpeace has called the recordings of the heavy pollution in Beijing over the weekend as \(***)the worst on record\(***)
The Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Centre advised people to avoid going outdoors
The airborne particles in Beijing are small enough to deeply penetrate the lungs, forcing residents to wear facemasks for protection
Many people have taken to voicing their concerns online - with some describing the air as post-apocalyptic and beyond belief
The severe conditions are being blamed on increased traffic on the roads
Pollution from factories and the consumption of coal for winter are also being blamed for contributing to the pollution
The cities of Tianjain, east of Beijing and Wuhan City in the south have also reported severe pollution
Residents have been advised to use public transportation in order to reduce pollution created by automobile emissions
The conditions are reportedly likely to last until Tuesday due to the pollution not being able to disperse as it is trapped in area of low pressure
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