Frontal system brings poor air quality to western Taiwan

Most of western Taiwan faced poor air quality on Friday as a stagnant frontal system prevented pollutants from dispersing, an environmental protection official has said.

The air quality index for areas in western Taiwan ranged between 100 and 200 on the 0-500 scale adopted by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) for its air quality monitoring network.

Under the EPA monitoring system, indexes with readings between 101 and 150 suggest that the air quality is unhealthy for people more vulnerable to airborne pollutants while scores between 151 and 200 indicate the air quality is unhealthy for everybody.

As of 1 p.m., the worst air quality was found in the Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan areas, which all had monitoring stations where the air quality index exceeded 150.

Monitoring stations in Linkou District in New Taipei and Longtan District in Taoyuan also had similarly high air quality readings. The air quality in Taipei was in the 100 to 150 range as of 1 p.m.

Chang Shun-chin (???), head of the EPA's Department of Environmental Monitoring and Information Management, blamed the poor air quality on a frontal system that is hovering over Taiwan.

He predicted that the situation will not improve in northern Taiwan until Sunday, when colder air arrives. People in central and southern parts of western Taiwan will have to wait until Monday to be able to breathe cleaner air, he said.

Cheng Ming-dean (???), the head of the Central Weather Bureau's Weather Forecast Center, posted a photo of a smog-covered city on his Facebook page on Friday, saying that smog was behind the low visibility and high 81 percent humidity seen in Taipei on Friday morning.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel