12/11/2019, 10.55
SOUTH KOREA
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Seoul suffocated by smog from China

PM 2.5 reached 118 micrograms per cubic meter in Seoul, 106 in Gyeonggi province and 90 in Incheon. Experts, warn their concentration is "very bad" exceeding 76. Particles of fine dust can cause various disorders and undermine the immune system: the government invites the elderly, children and the sick not to go out.

Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The metropolitan area of ​​Seoul is surrounded by strong concentrations of fine dust for the second consecutive day: the emergency has forced local governments to issue an alarm and take extraordinary measures to reduce emissions. Among these there is the alternating block for vehicles and a circulation ban on old generation diesel cars.

The air quality monitoring center - a body affiliated with the Ministry of the Environment - says that in recent days a constant influx of smog from China, combined with the stagnation of local air, has led to the peak of ultrafine dust in almost all regions of the country, excluding the island of Jeju. Particles from China arrived in South Korea via hot winds from the west, followed by days of cold caused by high Siberian pressure.

According to the South Korean authorities, at 10am this morning, PM 2.5 - or particles of fine dust with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns - reached 118 micrograms per cubic meter in Seoul, 106 in the province of Gyeonggi (which surrounds the capital) and 90 in Incheon. In the southeastern city of Daegu, the figure has risen to 85 micrograms. Experts classify the concentrations of 2.5 Pm particles between 0 and 15 micrograms per cubic meter as "good", "normal" between 16 and 35, "bad" between 36 and 75 and "very bad" those that exceed 76.

Even PM 10 - particles less than 10 microns in diameter - rose to 170 micrograms per cubic meter in Seoul, 155 in Gyeonggi and 144 in Incheon. The levels of PM 10 between 81 micrograms and 150 are classified as "negative". Fine dust particles can cause various disorders and undermine the immune system. For this reason, government officials ask citizens with respiratory or cardiovascular problems, children and other vulnerable people to refrain from going outdoors. The authorities are also asking the population to wear antismog masks.

But reassuring news comes from the Korean Meteorological Administration: the high concentrations of fine dust will disappear starting this night, when the cold north-west winds will flow into the peninsula.

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