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Central, southern Taiwan hit by air pollution

2018/01/21 11:32

Taipei, Jan. 21 (CNA) Air quality in some parts of central and southern Taiwan have deteriorated to what is generally rated as "unhealthy" Sunday morning, according to the Environmental Protection Administration's Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network.

As of 11 a.m., the Air Quality Index (AQI) flashed red, meaning the air was "unhealthy" for the general public, in Nantou's Zhushan in central Taiwan and at 20 monitoring stations in Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pingtung in southern Taiwan.

Meanwhile, the AQI flashed orange in four monitoring stations in Yunlin and Chiayi as well as the offshore island of Kinmen, indicating that the air quality was "unhealthy for sensitive groups" such as young children, the elderly and people with a chronic disease.

In the rest of western Taiwan and all of eastern Taiwan, the air quality was rated as either good or fair, the monitoring data showed.

Considering that the AQI at one-third of the monitoring stations in Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan as well as Kaohsiung and Pingtung flashed red or orange alerts, state-owned Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) was considering reducing the output of the coal-fired Taichung Power Plant in central Taiwan and the coal-fired Hsinta Power Plant in the south, 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 EPA advises people in areas with poor air quality to avoid outdoor activities if they experience eye irritation, coughing or a sore throat.

Meanwhile, young children, seniors and people with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in those areas should avoid physical exertion and wear facial masks when outside, the EPA said.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Evelyn Kao)Enditem/cs