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China smog emergency shuts down city of 11 million people

Debilitating smog in one of northeastern China's largest cities on Monday forced schools, the airport and some public bus routes to shut down in the country's first air pollution crisis of the winter, Reuters reported.

An index measuring particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) reached a reading of 1,000 in some parts of Harbin, home to some 11 million people.

A level above 300 is considered hazardous, while the World Health Organization recommends a daily level of no more than 20, the report said.

Users of China's popular social media website Sina Weibo expressed anger over Harbin's air pollution.

"After years of effort, the wise and hard-working people of Harbin have finally managed to skip both the middle-class society and the communist society stages, and have now entered a fairyland society!" one commenter posted, according to Reuters.

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