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Environmental Emergency Declared in Santiago amid Hazardous Smog

Posted by feww on June 22, 2015

Suffocating smog forces Chilean govt. to declare state of emergency in Santiago

Chilean officials have declared an environmental emergency in response to PM2.5-rich smog in the capital, Santiago.

The emergency measures requires about 3,000 factories and other polluting businesses to stay closed on Monday. Additionally, 40 percent of the capital’s 1.8 million cars will stay off the roads, said Santiago regional governor Orrego Larrain.

“We’re currently facing unusual conditions, with one of the driest Junes in over 40 years as well as really bad air circulation conditions over the Santiago valley in recent days, which boosts the concentration of contamination,” said  the Environment Ministry.

The restrictions would remain in place for 24 hours, while dangerously high pollution levels persists, but can be extended if no improvement in the conditions results.

Meanwhile, the health officials have urged Santiago residents to avoid outdoor exercise, while the emergency measures last.

Santiago [metro population: ~ 7.5 million] is located in Chile’s central valley, at an elevation of 520 m (1,706 ft) above the sea level.

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