Smog Is So Bad in Beijing That Flights are Being Cancelled

The pollution in China's capital city of Beijing has once again intensified, and some residents have even resorted to using gas masks in order to breathe. Several dozen flights out of Beijing Capital International Airport were also cancelled today, and smog is to blame. In some parts of the city, it is reported that visibility is less than 200 feet.

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing is tracking the current air quality, and according to its most recent findings, the air is hazardous even late at night. The embassy warns:

"Everyone should avoid all physical activity outdoors; people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should remain indoors and keep activity levels low."

Just a couple weeks ago Beijing experienced another bout of bad air. Just like today, the air quality level was literally off the charts. The U.S. embassy's worst rating goes to 500, but the readings were well beyond the index.

Beijing authorities are ordering more than 100 polluting factories to shut down today, and government agencies are being required to cut down their automobile use by one-third. Officials warn that there is little wind, so the smog will not be breaking up right away.