Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) Air pollutants from China are expected to affect Taiwan beginning Sunday morning, resulting in island-wide poor air quality, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said.
A wave of air pollution forecast to be the worst in three years coming from China was forecast to hit northern Taiwan Sunday morning and spread to the south later that day, said Tsai Hung-teh,head of the EPA's Department of Air Quality Protection and Noise Control.
With a red alert, which means that the air quality is unhealthy for the general public, likely to be issued for western Taiwan, Tsai warned people wanting to attend New Year's Eve countdown parties and outdoor activity to take precautionary measures.
As of noon, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in monitoring stations in Fuguei Cape, Wanli and Guanyin in northern Taiwan as well as Qiaotou, Nanzi, Zuoying, Qianjin, Qianzhen, Fuxing and Xiaogang in the southern port city of Kaohsiung flashed red, with very high levels of PM2.5 and PM10 particulates, meaning severely high levels of air pollution.
Meanwhile, the AQI in 11 monitoring stations in northern Taiwan and seven in Kaohsiung and Pingtung in the south flashed orange, signaling unhealthy air for young children, the elderly and people with chronic diseases.
The air quality indexes in Zhushan in Nantou, central Taiwan and in the outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu also showed orange.
In other parts of western Taiwan, the air quality was either fair (yellow) or good (green).
The air quality in all the eastern counties of Yilan, Hualien and Taitung flashed green, indicating good air quality.
The EPA's six-color scale takes into account ozone, PM2.5 and PM10 particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide concentrations in the air. (By Wu Hsin-yun and Evelyn Kao)Enditem/cs