Shanghai smog: Air pollution covers city

Air pollution hits severe levels as residents told to avoid outdoor activities

Shanghai residents awoke this morning to find the city covered in a dense smog, as air quality in the city hit 'severe pollution' levels.

Residents were advised to stay indoors where possible when the Shanghai Environment Agency measured pollution at level five out of a possible six, according to the South China Morning Post. 

Air pollution is a major problem in China due to the country's rapid pace of industrialisation, reliance on coal power, explosive growth in vehicle ownership and disregard for environmental laws.

The Shanghai air quality index registered the air pollution Quality Index at 271, which it categorised as 'very unhealthy'

Many shared photos on social media of buildings barely visible and shrouded by the blanket of smog which has been covering Beijing for weeks.

Education authorities issued alerts to schools suggesting that children do not participate in outdoor activities.