Aftermath of Seoul Fireworks Festival Harms Natural Habitat

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Fireworks are seen during the Seoul International Fireworks Festival around Han River Park in Yeouido, western Seoul on Oct. 8, 2022. (Yonhap)

Fireworks are seen during the Seoul International Fireworks Festival around Han River Park in Yeouido, western Seoul on Oct. 8, 2022. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Oct. 11 (Korea Bizwire)The Seoul International Fireworks Festival was held at Han River Park in Yeouido, Seoul on Saturday.

Organized by Hanwha Group and sponsored by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the festival has been held annually in September or October since 2000.

Returning after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the festival brought together more than a million people.

While Seoul residents enjoyed the festival, some worried that the lights and noise from the fireworks had damaged the bird habitat in the area as well as the grass in the park.

Their concerns are based on precedent in Rome, Italy, when hundreds of birds were found dead near a train station in January last year following a New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

The International Organization for Animal Welfare blamed New Year’s Eve fireworks for the massacre. Attempting to escape the sudden burst and sound of explosions, the birds flew into window panes and were killed, the agency said.

Similar comments were posted on social media platforms and online communities on the day of the fireworks festival in Seoul.

Major websites shared the news article covering the story of the ‘Bird Slaughter’ in Rome.

“Do they really have to put on fireworks for even a moment of fun?” said one of the comments. “Poor birds,” said another.

This image captured on Twitter shows birds found dead on a street in Rome shortly after fireworks in the city on January 1, 2022.

This image captured on Twitter shows birds found dead on a street in Rome shortly after fireworks in the city on January 1, 2022.

On Saturday, more than 100,000 fireworks were set off during the 70-minute show.

The festival was held in the area between Wonhyo Bridge and Hangang Railway Bridge. This year, however, the area has been extended to Mapo Bridge.

The festival was held 1 kilometer closer to Bam Island in the Han River, known as a major waterfowl habitat. The number of fireworks that rose above 70 meters jumped 20%.

Bam Island is designated a Ramsar wetland. It has also been designated by the Seoul Metropolitan Government as a nature reserve, prohibiting the entry of unauthorized personnel.

Project Hangang headquarters said there were more than 10,000 birds of 40 different types, including endangered species like white-tailed eagles and hawks living on the island.

Yeouido’s Saetgang Ecological Park is also home to nine different bird species designated as natural monuments, including Chinese hawks and five other endangered bird species.

Visitors wait for the Seoul International Fireworks Festival at a riverside park in Yeouido, western Seoul on Oct. 8, 2022. The annual event hosted by Hanwha Group, which was scheduled to start at 19 hours, returned after three years due to the pandemic.  (Yonhap)

Visitors wait for the Seoul International Fireworks Festival at a riverside park in Yeouido, western Seoul on Oct. 8, 2022. The annual event hosted by Hanwha Group, which was scheduled to start at 19 hours, returned after three years due to the pandemic. (Yonhap)

Seoul Metropolitan Government officials said more than 50 tons of trash had been collected from Yeouido River and Ichon Han parks as a result of large numbers of people gathering there to watch the fireworks, i.e. 11% more than during the fireworks of 2019. (45 tons).

“The amount of waste was about seven times what we normally see, but it was still less than expected,” said an official from the Hangang project headquarters.

“It’s not just about how much. The waste was well collected in designated areas which made it easier for us to process. »

However, signs of the consequences could be found throughout the park. At Ichon Han River Park, located near where the festival was held, a small forest of foxtails had been trampled hard as if a hurricane was passing.

It was the result of some residents sitting on it with mats to watch the festival.

Countless foxtails chewed as they were shot by people trying to claim their places for the festival.

Slowly but gradually, people are worrying about the hidden side of the bustling fireworks festival, where life has suffered and perished due to human neglect.

Another incident surrounding the fireworks festival involved an advert posted on an online thrift store looking for people to rent a room with a spectacular view of the fireworks for four hours at a price of 600,000 won ($418).

Nearby hotels have raised their prices by a few hundred thousand won for rooms with a nice view of the fireworks.

HM Kang ([email protected])


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