Poor air quality forecast for parts of western Taiwan

(NOWnews file photo)

Taipei, June 3 (CNA) The air quality is expected to be poor in some parts of western Taiwan on Sunday because of a lack of wind to disperse atmospheric pollutants, according to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA).

The Air Quality Index (AQI) will likely flash an orange alert, meaning unhealthy air for sensitive groups, in central and southern Taiwan, and could even flash red, indicating unhealthy air for the general public, in some areas in western Taiwan in the afternoon because of rising ozone levels and photochemical reaction caused by high levels of ultraviolet radiation, the EPA forecast.

As of 12:00 Sunday, the AQI has already flashed an orange warning at four areas in western Taiwan, the EPA’s Air Quality Monitoring Network showed.

Under the influence of a weather front and northeasterly winds, eastern Taiwan is expected to see brief showers or thundershowers, while sporadic rainfall is expected for northern Taiwan and afternoon thundershowers are forecast for the rest of the island, the EPA said.

However, as conditions are not right to disperse atmospheric pollutants, the AQI is expected to flash orange in central Taiwan, as well as Yunlin, Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pingtung, 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 concentration of PM10 particulates could be high in coastal areas of Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan due to increased dust emissions caused by strong winds and little rain, the EPA said.

It advises people in areas with poor air quality to avoid outdoor activities if they experience eye irritation, coughing or a sore throat.

Young children, seniors and people with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in those areas should avoid physical exertion and wear a face mask when outside, the EPA said.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Evelyn Kao)