Air quality poor in western Taiwan, outlying islands

Taipei--Air quality was poor in western Taiwan around central regions and the outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu on Wednesday, according to the Environmental Protection Administration's Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network.

As of 11 a.m., the air quality index for parts of Yunlin, Chiayi and Nantou counties and on the two offshore islands flashed orange, indicating that air quality in those areas was unhealthy for groups particularly sensitive to poor air quality.

The index flashed yellow for northern and central Taiwan as well as Yilan County in the northeast, indicating that air quality was moderate in those regions, while it flashed green, which means air quality was good, for Hualien and Pingtung counties in eastern Taiwan, according to the network (http://taqm.epa.gov.tw/taqm/en/).

The agency's six-color scale takes into account ozone, PM2.5 and PM10 particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide concentrations in the air.

Green represents "good" air quality, with a pollutant reading of 0-50; yellow indicates "moderate" at 51-100; orange means "unhealthy for sensitive groups" with a reading of 101-150; red indicates "unhealthy" with a range of 151-200; purple signifies "very unhealthy" with a level of 201-300; maroon represents "hazardous" with a reading of 301-500.

On Wednesday, the weather was sunny and bright across Taiwan, with daytime highs in western and eastern regions expected to reach 28-30 and 26-27 degrees Celsius, respectively, with a high or excessive level of ultraviolet radiation, the Central Weather Bureau said.

However, the bureau also warned that there could a temperature differential of up to 10 degrees between the daytime high and later in the evening, urging members of the public to wear warm clothes if they plan to be outdoors.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel