Wednesday, January 11, 2012

As many as 10 incoming flights from Beijing and 15 departing were delayed yesterday, a Hong Kong International Airport spokeswoman said, as the capital awoke to skies shrouded in acrid smoke. Those were among 155 flights to and from Beijing delayed or canceled as the thick cloud of pollutants reduced visibility in parts of the city to less than 200 meters - according to readings by the national meteorological center.
However, official data judged air quality to be "good," even as the US embassy said on Twitter that the pollution was so bad it was off the scale.
The embassy, which has its own pollution measuring system, said the concentration of the smallest, most dangerous particles in the air at 2.5 micrometers or less, called PM2.5, was "beyond index" for most of the morning.