Bouts of heavy air pollution hit Taiwan again

PM2.5 levels pose risks to all citizens in central and southern areas

Activists called for action on air pollution in September

Activists called for action on air pollution in September (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has been struck by waves of heavy air pollution again, which are set to continue in some areas over the next few days.

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) indicates that seasonal north-easterly winds are to die down this afternoon. Low wind speeds mean unfavorable conditions for atmospheric dispersion, and due to current bouts of scattered fog on Taiwan’s west coast, air pollutants are likely to linger.

Towards the evening, windspeeds will pick up slightly and atmospheric conditions will start to improve in northern and central Taiwan, meaning better air quality. As night approaches, however, dispersion conditions will worsen again, leaving room for pollutants to gradually accumulate.

The EPA reminds citizens living in areas on the West coast, particularly in Zhongli (中壢), Chiayi (嘉義), Pingtung (屏東) and Kaohsiung (高雄), as well as Kinmen (金門) that air quality currently reads as “unhealthy.” This means all citizens should reduce prolonged outdoor activity to minimize effects.

Sensitive groups in Hsinchu (新竹), Miaoli (苗栗), Yunlin (雲林) are reminded to take extra precautions.

(Image from Taiwan AQI, EPA)

According to air pollution reports at 10:00 a.m., 17 monitor stations flashed red warnings, with the highest PM2.5 levels recorded in the Qiaotou District (橋頭區) of Kaohsiung at 163.

The EPA says tomorrow, north-easterly winds will pick up considerably, creating better dispersion conditions in many places. However, strong winds will carry pollutants to parts of Yunlin and Chiayi, which are likely to reach the red zone again.

High windspeeds will continue on Dec. 24 in all areas except central and southern Taiwan, the EPA states.