South Korea on Monday has confirmed that the recent toxic chemical leak in Gumi City is a special disaster zone.
[Yook Dong-han, Prime Minister's Office, Vice Minister]:
"I declare the chemical leak area in Gumi city is designated as a special disaster zone as of today.”
Yonhap news agency reports that on September 27 around eight tons of hydrofluoric acid leaked from the factory of chemical maker Hube Globe.
Hydrofluoric acid is an acute poison that can damage lungs and bones, and affect the nervous system.
The leak was caused by an explosion that killed 5 people and injured 18 others.
More than 3,000 residents have been treated for nausea, chest pain, rashes, sore eyes or sore throats.
Hundreds more have been evacuated.
Agriculture has also been affected.
More than 3000 livestock animals are showing symptoms of illness.
Also, crops and fruit on more than 212 hectares of farmlands and orchards have withered.