Hong Kong has been suffering from a blanket of smog for the last two days and it looks like things are going to get worse before they get better.
According to aqicn.org, which measures real-time air quality for more than 60 countries around the world, the air quality in Hong Kong at 11am on Tuesday was classified as ‘Unhealthy’.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) said that the pollution had been brought about by tropical cyclone Megi, which is currently heading towards Taiwan. As a result of the typhoon, they noted that “the weather in Hong Kong is mainly fine and hot, with some haze… and light to moderate north-westerly winds.” They went on to say that “the intense sunshine enhances photochemical smog activity and the formation of ozone, resulting in high pollution in the region.”
The intense pollution is forecast to worsen as the week progresses, with aqicn.org predicting PM2.5 levels of up to 250 by Friday – in the ‘Very Unhealthy’ range.
The EPD has advised sensitive groups including children, the elderly and those with existing heart or respiratory illnesses to reduce physical exertion and outdoor activities while the pollution level is high. Schools have also been urged to take appropriate measures to safeguard the health of students.
For more information on the health effects of air pollution, visit the Centre for Health Protection’s website.