School children stayed home from school, traffic was worse than usual and flights were canceled because of the "Super Smog" that has hit Northeastern China.

Visibility shrank to less than 50 yards and small-particle pollution soared to a record 40 times higher than an international safety standard as the region entered its high-smog season.

Winter is usually the worst season for air pollution in the region because of a combination of weather conditions and an increase in the burning of coal for homes and municipal heating systems.