The government on Monday declared Gumi in North Gyeongsang Province a special disaster zone, 12 days after a toxic explosion caused by a leak from a chemical plant.
The decision was made in a meeting of officials from relevant ministries including the ministries of public administration and security and of environment.
The government will come up with measures to support local residents whose agricultural produce, livestock and forestry have been devastated, and secure medical and financial help, and human and equipment resources for rescue efforts.
As a result of the three-day investigation over the weekend, the central government estimated W9.27 billion (US$1=W1,112) of damage. Agricultural produce on 122 ha of land has been blighted, and 3,209 domestic animals are showing unusual symptoms such as runny noses.
The leak of hydrofluoric acid on Sep. 27 has so far resulted in over 2,500 local residents and workers in the plant visiting hospital for injuries and suspicious symptoms.