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Chile's Santiago declares smog emergency

Staff writer |
Authorities in Chile's capital Santiago have imposed emergency measures amid rising pollution.

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According to city officials, pollution has reached a "critical level". Under the measures, around 40% of cars with a catalyst and 80% of those without are banned from the streets from 07:30 until 21:00 on Monday.

This June has been the driest since 1968 and the lack of rain has contributed to the poor air quality in the capital, officials say.

Santiago is located in a valley and when there is little wind and no rain, smog can hang over the city of six million inhabitants for days. Industries considered particularly polluting have also been ordered to stay shut on Monday. Residents have been urged not to exercise outdoors.

However, training sessions for teams competing in the Copa America football tournament, which Chile is hosting, are expected to go ahead although no games are scheduled for Monday. The first of the quarter-final games will be held in Santiago between Chile and Uruguay on Wednesday.

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