Taipei, The air quality in Kinmen, Taichung and some parts of western Taiwan was rated "unhealthy" on Sunday, prompting the Taichung City government to order some measures to reduce air pollution.
The Taichung Environmental Protection Bureau said it has issued the first-degree directives for more stringent cleaning of the streets near construction sites to reduce the dust in the air and for people to desist from burning waste in the open.
Other efforts will include cleaning dry river beds to reduce dust and cracking down on major sources of pollution such as vehicle exhaust, heavy industry and construction, the bureau said.
The bureau said it has also asked various city government agencies to adjust their outdoor activity schedule depending on the real-time air quality.
Meanwhile, in tandem with the city government's efforts, the state-run Taiwan Power Co. said it will cut back on coal-fired power generation at its Taichung Power Plant.
As of 2:50 p.m. Sunday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) was flashing a red warning, indicating unhealthy air for the general public, in Sanyi, Miaoli, Zhongming in Taichung, Changhua and the outlying island county of Kinmen.
At 35 stations in western Taiwan and on Matsu island, the AQI was flashing an orange warning, signaling unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups, the national Air Quality Monitoring Network showed.
In the rest of western Taiwan and all of eastern Taiwan, the air quality was rated as either good or fair, according to the monitoring data.
The Environmental Protection Administration's AQI takes into account ozone, PM2.5 and PM10 particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide concentrations in the air.
The air quality is expected to improve between Wednesday and Thursday with the arrival of a weather front and northwesterly winds, according to the bureau.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel