The government issued fine dust emergency measures for all parts of the country except Jeju Island on Friday, as fine dust blanketed Korea for three consecutive days.
The fine dust levels nationwide are expected to reach “bad” or “very bad” levels except for some parts in Gangwon Province and Jeju Island throughout the day.
Under the newly implemented Special Act on Particulate Matter Reduction and Management, the government can restrict the operations of plants and vehicles when the emergency measures are issued.
Seoul city banned old diesel vehicles over 2.5 tons from driving in the city, except vehicles such as ambulances, police cars, cars belonging to disabled people, electric cars and hydrogen-powered cars. Drivers who violate the driving ban will be fined 100,000 won ($88).
The city will also closed down 434 parking lots at state-run organizations, while government employees need to leave their cars at home if their license plate numbers end with an odd number.
While the emergency measures are in effect, power plants that burn fossil fuels must reduce their output to 80 percent of normal operations and plants that produce a large amount of pollution must take measures to reduce emissions.
Dust particles are expected to remain throughout the weekend.
By Park Ju-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)