Smog wraps northeast, schools forced to close in China

Smog wraps northeast, schools forced to close in China
Heavy smog shrouds Harbin, Heilongjiang province, on Monday, as schools were closed and some buses stopped operating because of poor visibility on the roads.

CHINA - Choking smog shrouded Northeast China on Monday, forcing schools to suspend classes and disrupting flights and road traffic.

Meteorological authorities in Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces issued a red alert for thick smog.

All highways and Taiping International Airport in Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang, were closed due to the weather.

At least 40 flights flying to destinations in southern China and Beijing among others were cancelled or postponed at Taiping International Airport.

Education authorities in Harbin issued a notice to suspend classes at all primary and middle schools.

Visibility was reduced to 10 meters in the city, forcing some public buses to stop service. Many citizens had to walk or use other means of transport to work.

Drug stores in the city were selling out of masks.

"The sale of masks was at least 10 times the normal rate. We sold more than 140 masks this morning in our shop," said a salesman at a drugstore in Xiangfang District.

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