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(LEAD) Fine dust blankets S. Korea

National 11:52 January 13, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES dust levels in 2nd para; ADDS citizens' reactions in paras 7-8)

SEOUL, Jan. 13 (Yonhap) -- Fine dust particles covered South Korea's sky Sunday, prompting authorities to take countermeasures and issue advisories.

The fine dust level stood at 79 micrograms per cubic meter (㎍/㎥) for Seoul as of 10 a.m., with the level in the western Yangcheong district soaring to 109 ㎍/㎥, according to Air Korea.

The density was predicted to hover above 50 micrograms per cubic meter on average for the day in most of Seoul and its surrounding regions, the weather agency said.

The level was measured at 72 ㎍/㎥ for Seoul, followed by 60 ㎍/㎥ for Incheon and 81 ㎍/㎥ in Gyeonggi Province on Saturday.

The Ministry of Environment took reduction measures to tackle the dust particles. Starting at 6 a.m., thermal power plants in the aforementioned areas must reduce their output to 80 percent of normal operations.

Other public emissions facilities are required to keep operational hours shorter and take reduction measures in accordance with city governments' guidelines.

Citizens chose to stay indoors or bustled their way on streets to avoid being outside for too long.

"My husband and I decided to see a movie on a day like this. We'll just grab a quick lunch after the movie and go home," a 47-year-old woman surnamed Park said.

The weather authorities forecast the dust density will remain high across the country till Monday.

Seoul's skyline is hazy on Jan. 13, 2019, as the country recorded another high fine dust level that is expected to continue till early this week. (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr
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