Korea Blanketed with Worst Toxic Smog Yet

  • By Hong Jun-ki

    March 26, 2018 13:25

    Korea was blanketed with the worst toxic smog so far this year over the weekend, forcing many people to cancel outdoor activities.

    "Without rain or winds, accumulated pollutants from outside and inside the country caused a high density of fine dust," the Environment Ministry said.

    As of 1 p.m. on Sunday, the concentration of ultrafine or PM2.5 dust particles was "very bad" at 101 ㎍/㎥ and higher in Seoul, Gyeonggi Province, and North Chungcheong Province. The fine dust density went even higher in most regions on Sunday. 

    Thick haze blankets Gangnam in Seoul on Sunday.

    The ministry decided to implement emergency measures for the Seoul metropolitan area for the fourth time this year as the fine dust density exceeded 50 ㎍/㎥ in Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi as of 5 p.m. Sunday and is expected to surpass the level again on Monday.

    Some 27,000 civil servants in the Seoul area are only allowed to drive cars with even number plates on Monday.

    The biggest cause was stagnant air as pollutants hung over the country as under a bell jar.

    According to meteorological information provider Kweather, the high concentration of fine dust can occur repeatedly until June, when temperatures go up and the air mass becomes more unstable. Dust storms are also blown into Korea from Inner Mongolia between March and May.

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