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Montevideo, September 21st 2023 - 22:45 UTC



Santiago de Chile skies reach dangerous levels pollution

Tuesday, May 1st 2007 - 21:00 UTC
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Santiaguinos stuck in the city for the long weekend faced the first environmental alerts of the year after an increased level of air contamination was detected on Friday night. The contamination alerts were issued for Saturday and Sunday.

The alerts, commonplace in recent years, restrict cars without catalytic converters by limiting circulation on the basis of the final digit on license plate numbers. Restricted cars may not drive within the greater Santiago area from 7:30 a.m to 9 p.m. The alert also prohibits the use of home chimneys within the Metropolitan Region. The regional authority also recommended that the population abstain from outdoor activity, since the poor quality of air is detrimental to health. The alert was lifted on Monday after the arrival of a new weather front brought ventilation to the stagnant valley system. Experts attribute Santiago's heavy smog to its location in the lowest part of the Maipo Valley, which prevents air circulation and traps pollution. The government faced heavy criticism last year for not taking Santiago's contamination problem seriously, and environmental groups question the norms currently in place, saying they are very weak by international standards. Still, implementation of Transantiago's cleaner running buses are hoped to bring less alerts this winter. The Santiago Times

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