• Short Summary

    The people of Chile's capital city, Santiago, are facing a huge and threatening air pollution problem.

  • Description

    SV PAN AND GV FROM Snow covered Andes Mountains over Santiago which if smog-bound. (3 shots)

    LV AND CU Traffic in streets of Santiago.(2 shots)

    LV AND CU People walking to shops.

    GV PAN OVER FROM Highway to underground railway tunnel under construction.

    SV AND CU Construction work on tunnel. (5 shots)

    GV River Mapocho with debris scattered on banks.(2 shots)

    SV PAN River outside city limits with debris strewn through to. (3 shots)

    GV PAN Smog over Santiago

    Initials VS 16.10 VS 16.30

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The people of Chile's capital city, Santiago, are facing a huge and threatening air pollution problem.

    A lack of rain and wind has meant that the city is covered by a thick , low-lying cloud of carbon and sulphur dioxide.

    Respiration problems and eye irritations are common amongst Santiago's inner-city population of ??? million, and the health of the very young and the very old is particularly affected.

    The origin of the air contamination is mainly motor vehicle exhaust fumes. Over two hundred thousand vehicles use the city centre daily.

    Santiago's geographical position does not help either, Homed by the Andes Mountains, the city has become a buffer zone. Winds which rarely blow above 300 metres in height can only push the pollution against the mountains making it more compact and more concentrated over the urban sector.

    A National Health Service (NHS) study conducted in 1973 showed that Santiago's water is also polluted. Because of the lack of rain, the NHS is considering the introduction of strict water preservation measures.

    And to combat the air pollution, the government is trying to encourage commuters to leave their cars behind. The main part of this is a new underground railway complex....currently under construction.

    SYNOPSIS: From the hill of San Cristobal the huge smog blanket covering Chile's capital city of Santiago can be seen quite clearly. The cloud of carbon and sulphur dioxide hangs low over the city centre.

    It is there almost permanently. Only high, strong winds of heavy. prolonged rain ever clears the air for any length f time.

    The problem has been caused almost entirely by motor vehicle exhaust fumes.

    Over two hundred thousand vehicles use the city centre daily.

    Because of Santiago's geographical position, the pollution problem is accentuated. The Andes Mountains act as a wall making the city a buffer zone. Winds rarely blow above a height of three hundred metres and the pollution cloud cannot clear the mountains with winds at that height.

    Forty-five per cent of Chile's entire population of ten million live in Santiago. A million and a half of them live in the city centre.... and they are the people who are feeling it most. Respiration problems and eye irritations affect nearly everyone, particularly the very young and the very old. One step the Government has taken to overcome the problem is the construction of an underground railway.

    When the railway is completed, hopefully by the middle of September, the Government will mount a campaign to encourage motorists to leave their cars in the suburbs and commute.

    By nineteen-eighty it's estimated that more than one thousand and thirty thousand people will be using the underground per hour.

    The railway is being by the Societe Francasis who handle the Paris Metro, and initial profits will go to the French.

    But air pollution is not the only problem in Santiago. The city's water is also becoming badly polluted. The river Mapocho... the main irrigation artery... in filled with waste and litter.

    Outside the city's limits, river pollution is still bad. Now, the National Health Service is considering introducing strict water preservation measures.

    But coupled with the prevailing air pollution, time for affective action is fact running out in Santiago

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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