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Air pollution alerts issued for western Taiwan, other areas

12/09/2023 02:32 PM
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People ride motorcycles in a traditional market in New Taipei on Saturday. CNA photo Dec. 9, 2023
People ride motorcycles in a traditional market in New Taipei on Saturday. CNA photo Dec. 9, 2023

Taipei, Dec. 9 (CNA) The air quality in the western half of Taiwan has dropped to unhealthy levels, the Ministry of Environment (MOENV) said Saturday, issuing a warning for the elderly, children, and people with respiratory conditions to stay indoors.

A "red" alert, the second highest on Taiwan's six-level air quality index (AQI) scale, was issued for southwestern parts of country, advising people in those areas not to go outdoors.

Northwestern parts of Taiwan, as well as the offshore Kinmen County, Penghu County and Matsu islands, were placed under an "orange" alert, the third highest on the AQI scale, which warns that sensitive groups such as children, the elderly, and people with cardiac and respiratory conditions should avoid going outdoors.

The MOENV also issued an "orange" alert for central Taiwan on Saturday and said it could be raised to "red" sometime during the day.

Generally, people in the warning areas are advised to avoid strenuous outdoor activity if they experience discomfort such as sore eyes, coughing or a sore throat, the MOENV said.

The poor air quality is being caused by pollutants accumulating on the western side of the country, as the seasonal winds weaken and change direction, according to the MOENV Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network report.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Wu Kuan-hsien)

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Chart: MOENV
Chart: MOENV
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