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Taiwan's air quality made worse by dust storm

2010/12/03 21:53:52

Taipei, Dec. 3 (CNA) Taiwan was enveloped by a sandstorm fromMongolia, northern China on Friday, which resulted in an increasedamount of particulates in the air, the environment monitoring agencysaid.

A total of 33 weather stations reported suspended particulates ofmore than 200 micrograms per cubic meter, about four times the normalamount, according to the Environmental Protection Administration(EPA).

The sandstorm from inner Mongolia has arrived in Taiwan as thenortheast monsoon came, said Shen Chih-hsiu, deputy director of theenvironment monitoring and information management department under theEPA.

The dust, the first wave to have obvious influence on Taiwan thiswinter, affected Korea and Japan the other day.

The storm, which is expected to move on to southern Taiwan laterin the day, will abate after Dec. 4, Shen added.

The dusty air throughout the island is mainly caused by local airpollution, which could not disperse due to the current airconditions, the department said.

Sandstorms from the deserts in northern China usually blowbetween November to May every year.

(By Lee Shien-feng, Johnson Sun and Kendra Lin)