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Air quality drops to unhealthy levels in large parts of Taiwan


Poor air quality was recorded in many areas of Taiwan on Saturday, due to ozone molecules and high concentrations of fine particulate matter, according to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA).

In an air quality report Saturday, the EPA said the index in northern and central Taiwan, as well as in Yulin, Chiayi and Tainan in the south, was flashing “red” as of 10 a.m., indicating unhealthy levels of pollution.

In Kaohsiung and Pingtung further south, the index was on “orange” alert, signalling unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups, the EPA said.

The poor air quality was caused mainly by domestic factors that created high concentrations of PM2.5 — fine particles 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter — and ozone molecules, the EPA said, without elaborating.

Meanwhile, the air quality in Yilan, Hualien and Taitung in eastern Taiwan was good on Saturday, thanks to easterly winds, the EPA said.

In its forecast, the EPA said the air is likely to be “unhealthy for sensitive groups” in northern Taiwan on Sunday, and “unhealthy” in central and southern parts of the country.

As northeasterly winds strengthen on Monday, the air quality in northern Taiwan will improve to a “moderate” level, but it will remain unhealthy in central and southern Taiwan, the EPA said.

On Tuesday, northern Taiwan will see good to moderate air quality, while in central Taiwan it will be “unhealthy for some groups,” and it will remain unhealthy in southern Taiwan, the EPA forecast.

In eastern Taiwan, air quality is expected to remain good through Tuesday, according to the EPA.

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