Heavy pollution in Beijing, China (PHOTOS)

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A cyclist wearing a mask prepares to cross a street during heavy pollution in Beijing on January 12, 2013.

The air quality level in Beijing reached 755 over the weekend, more than twice the level considered hazardous to health by the World Health Organization.

Residents, accustomed to poor air quality in the Chinese capital, described the current pollution as “postapocalyptic,” “terrifying” and “beyond belief."

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  • china_pollution_1.jpg

    This combination of photos shows (top) the Beijing skyline during severe pollution on January 14, 2013, and the same view (bottom) taken during clear weather on February 4, 2012.

  • china_pollution_2.jpg

    This picture taken on January 12, 2013 shows sunlight being reflected in a window of a building in Beijing.

  • china_pollution_3.jpg

    A woman wears a mask during severe pollution in Beijing on January 12, 2013.

  • china_pollution_4.jpg

    A cyclist wearing a mask prepares to cross a street during heavy pollution in Beijing on January 12, 2013.

  • china_pollution_6.jpg

    This picture taken on January 12, 2013 shows a man walking along a railway track in Beijing.

  • china_pollution_7.jpg

    This picture taken on January 12, 2013 shows two men walking along a railway line in Beijing in dense smog.