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Hong Kong choking in dense smog

Image: The heavily polluted barely visible skyline of Hong Kong 08 October 2007. Hong Kong's air pollution reached dangerous levels, reigniting concerns about public health and fears that the city could lose out on crucial foreign investment due to the thick smog. Photo courtesy AFP.

Hong Kong's
air pollution passed the danger level again on Monday, reigniting concerns about public health and fears that the choking smog could hamper tourism and investment.

Some of the world's tallest skyscrapers were virtually invisible in the murk despite a series of measures to try to fight what is rapidly becoming Hong Kong's top social and political problem.

Across the southern Chinese territory, the Air Pollution Index on Monday passed the critical 100 mark, the point at which those with respiratory or heart problems are urged to stay home.

At the weekend, the index reached 144. The high on Monday was 113.

The poor air quality was recorded even though many factories in the neighbouring Pearl River Delta in mainland China have been closed for a week-long holiday.

More than a dozen Hong Kong pensioners were hospitalised on Saturday alone for breathing ailments, prompting local aid charities to cry foul.
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