Central, southern Taiwan blanketed by air pollution

Taipei-The air quality in parts of central and southern Taiwan was generally rated "unhealthy" Wednesday because of a lack of wind to disperse atmospheric pollutants, according to the Environmental Protection Administration's Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network.

As of noon, the Air Quality Index (AQI) flashed red, meaning the air was "unhealthy" for the general public, in Nanzi, Fuxing, Renwu, Qianjin, Qianzhen and Xiaogang in Kaohsiung and the island of Xiaoliuqiu in Pingtung, according to the network (http://taqm.epa.gov.tw/taqm/en/).

Meanwhile, it flashed orange in Toufen, Miaoli and at 20 monitoring stations from Taichung to Pingtung County, 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 Kaohsiung and Pingtung flashed red or orange alerts, state-owned Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) was considering reducing the output of the coal-fired Hsinta Power Plant in Kaohsiung later that day, 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.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel