Air quality ‘unhealthy’ in parts of southern Taiwan

Kaohsiung skyline is seen on this Nov. 8. According to the Environmental Protection Administration's Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network, he air quality in parts of southern Taiwan were reported as “unhealthy” Wednesday due to a lack of wind to disperse atmospheric pollutants. (CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) – The air quality in parts of southern Taiwan were reported as “unhealthy” Wednesday due to a lack of wind to disperse atmospheric pollutants, according to the Environmental Protection Administration’s Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network.

As of 1 p.m., the Air Quality Index (AQI) flashed red, meaning the air was “unhealthy” for the general public, in Fengshan and Qianzhen in Kaohsiung, according to the network (http://taqm.epa.gov.tw/taqm/en/).

It flashed orange at 10 monitoring stations in Yunlin, Kaohsiung and Pingtung, indicating that the air quality was “unhealthy for sensitive groups” such as young children, the elderly and people with a chronic disease.

The EPA advised people in areas with poor air quality to avoid outdoor activities if they had eye irritation, a cough or a sore throat.

Meanwhile, young children, the elderly and people with heart, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in those areas should avoid physical exertion and wear mouth masks when outside, the EPA suggested.

In the rest of western Taiwan and all of eastern Taiwan, the air quality was either green (good) or yellow (fair), the monitoring data showed.

The air quality in the southern half of the country might begin to improve Thursday with the arrival of northeasterly winds accompanied by rain across the country, according to the EPA.

The EPA’s AQI takes into account ozone, PM2.5 and PM10 particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide concentrations in the air.

The Pingtung County Government announced on Wednesday, meanwhile, that it has initiated air pollution control measures in response to poor air quality in parts of the southernmost county.

The AQI in Pingtung City and Chaozhou Township in the county flashed either orange or red for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday, according to the EPA.

By Wu Hsin-yun, Kuo Chu-chen and Evelyn Kao