Authorities declare smog emergency in Chile’s Santiago

Authorities in Chile’s capital Santiago start to take emergency measures regarding rising pollution problem

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Chile’s capital Santiago is struggling with smog with the problem reaching “critical” levels according to city officials.

Under new measures against pollution nearly 40 percent of cars with a catalytic converter and 80 percent of those without have been banned from the streets from 07:30 until 21:00 from Monday.

Industries considered particularly polluting were also ordered to stay shut on Monday.

The city experienced its driest month since 1968 this June. According to officials, the lack of rain has an effect on the poor air quality in the city.

Santiago has a population of six million people and is located in a valley, which means it experiences air pollution problem when there is little wind and no rain. Smog sometimes hangs over the city for days.

Officials also report that the smog has been worsened by residents using wood-burning stoves to heat their homes.

Chilean authorities have called on residents of Santiago to show their "civic spirit and solidarity" in order to reduce pollution to a minimum.

The emergency measures announced are to be in place for 24 hours, but could be extended if officials find this necessary.

Authorities have also advised people not to exercise outdoors. The announcement comes while teams are taking part in training sessions to compete in the Copa America football tournament, which Chile is hosting.

However, no games are scheduled for Monday.

TRTWorld and agencies