Beijing residents stayed indoors, schools were closed, and limits on cars, factories, and construction sites kept pollution from spiking even higher Wednesday, the second of three days of restrictions triggered by the city's first red alert for smog.

Cars with even-numbered license plates were kept off roads, and schools and construction sites remained shuttered. Far fewer pedestrians walked the streets than usual - many of them wearing air-filtering face masks.

The ancient Forbidden City palace complex and other Beijing landmarks were lost in a gray, soupy haze Wednesday. Convenience stores sold masks at brisk rates, and health-food stores promoted pear juice as a traditional Chinese tonic for the lungs.

- AP