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'Off the scale' smog envelops Beijing again, US embassy says

Published on Jan 29, 2013 12:45 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - Pollution levels in Beijing rose above index limits on Tuesday, the United States embassy said, as a dense cloud of haze shrouded large swathes of northern China.

Mask-wearing residents of the capital battled through a second consecutive day of pollution at hazardous levels, despite Beijing municipal authorities warning those with respiratory difficulties to stay indoors.

It is at least the fourth time a dense cloud of haze has descended on northern China this winter, reducing visibility and causing flight delays, with even state media repeatedly expressing anger over the issue.

"The current environmental problems are worrisome," Mr Wang Anshun, who took over as mayor of the Chinese capital this week, was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

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