16 stations flash red air pollution alerts in western Taiwan

26 stations report poor air quality across central and southern Taiwan

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Polluted skyline in Kaohsiung.

Polluted skyline in Kaohsiung. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwan's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today said that due to poor diffusion conditions as the northeast monsoon weakens, there has been a continuous accumulation of pollutants across western Taiwan, with 26 stations reporting poor air quality as of 9 a.m. this morning.

As of 9 a.m. this morning, 26 stations of Taiwan's Air Quality Monitoring Network had reported poor air quality, with 16 flashing red alerts for air that is "Unhealthy" due to dangerous levels of PM2.5.

Stations which are flashing a red alert, include Chiayi, Xinying, Shanhua, Annan, Qiaotu, Fengshan, Pingtung, Daliao, Linyuan, Nanzi, Renwu, Qianjin, Fuxing, Qianzhen, and Xiaogang.

Chang Shuenn-chin (張順欽), director of the EPA's Department of Environmental Monitoring and Information Management, told CNA that the current northeast monsoon is weakening, leading to poor diffusion conditions to drive pollutants out of the air. Chang said that due to stagnant conditions in western Taiwan, particularly in central and southern Taiwan, air quality today will be poor.

Chang said a new northeast monsoon may bring some relief when it arrives tomorrow at noon. However, he said this may not be enough to clear out all the pollutants, and orange and red alerts are still likely.