23/10/2013 15:30 BST | Updated 23/12/2013 10:12 GMT

Smog Cloaks Chinese City Of Harbin, Closing Schools & Airports (PICTURES)

If you thought Britain was having gloomy weather, check out the state of Harbin, one of China’s largest cities.

Thick smog cloaked much of the region earlier this week, closing schools and the airport and leading to miles of traffic jams, Reuters reported.

Visibility dropped to less than 10 meters in parts, prompting the city’s official news site to remark “You can’t see your own fingers in front of you.”

heavy smog continues to disrupt northeast china

Visibility in some parts of Harbin dropped to less than 10 metres

According to The Associated Press, fine particulate matter readings taken in Harbin indicate that air pollution in the area is 40 times higher than the international safety standard set by the World Health Organisation.

Air pollution in China is a ongoing problem, with levels in Beijing hitting new highs in January.

The ensuing city shut-down prompted mayor Wang Anshun to promise action including restrictions on car sales and legislation to take 180,000 old vehicles, which churn out noxious gases, off the road.

Heavy Smog Continues To Disrupt Northeast China, October 2013