The first wave of smog from China since Autumn is forecast to hit Taiwan Sunday with the air quality level expected to trigger orange and red alerts, according to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Saturday.
Chang Shun-chin (???), chief of the EPA's Department of Environmental Monitoring and Information Management, told CNA that smog has been reported in areas between Tianjin and Shanghai in China.
With dry air and no rain to disperse it, the smog is set to arrive in Taiwan Sunday, Chang said.
Over the past 24 hours, the hourly concentration of PM2.5 has reached 70-110 micrograms per cubic meter, and it is predicted that the pollutants will be brought in by the northeasterly wind and impact air quality in Taiwan Sunday night, according to air pollution data.
PM2.5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, which is about 3 percent the diameter of a human hair.
The EPA predicts that the hourly concentration of PM2.5 in northern areas will reach 40 to 60 micrograms per cubic meter by Sunday and as the foreign pollutants move south air quality across Taiwan is likely to trigger an orange alert.
Some areas in the western half of the country will also face a red warning level for certain periods of time, according to the EPA.
According to the EPA, an "orange" alert, signals unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups, while "red" signals "unhealthy" air for the general public.
Areas along the coast of Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan may even appear to have dust settling on the ground due to strong winds, according to the EPA.
In response to the pollution level, local power plants have been instructed to decrease emissions, while local governments have been notified to pay attention to early warning and contingency measures, according to the EPA.
The agency also reminded the public to take precautions and urged sensitive groups or those with weaker immune systems, such as the elderly and children, to reduce strenuous activity outdoors and wear a mask for protection.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel