Korea Shrouded in Toxic Smog

By Hong Jun-ki | January 17, 2018 09:51

Koreans have been breathing toxic fumes mixed with various carcinogens for three days as haze from China blanketed the country.

Fine dust levels in the Seoul metropolitan area were forecast as "bad" or higher than 50㎍/㎥ on Wednesday and Thursday too.

Fine dust concentration proved lower than predicted on Monday, but the moment authorities lifted emergency measures it got worse on Tuesday.

Fine dust concentration was a mere 22 to 28㎍ in Seoul in Monday's morning rush hour, similar to a normal winter day. It increased on Monday afternoon and was forecast as "bad" on Tuesday, but the Environment Ministry lifted emergency measures at 9 p.m. Monday.

Smog blankets Seoul on Tuesday.

They are now in force again for Wednesday after the 16-hour average of fine dust concentration came up "bad" in Seoul and "very bad" in Incheon and Gyeonggi Province at 85㎍ and 102㎍ between midnight and 4 p.m. Tuesday.

That means car access to public facilities in Seoul is limited to a rotation of odd and even number plates on alternate days.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government is closing 360 public parking lots between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday, while making buses and subways free of charge from early morning to 9 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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