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Hong Kong Air Pollution Hits Record High

Air Pollution Hits Record High

Celine Sun -Mar 04, 2008 – SCMP

Air pollution hit a record high for the year yesterday, with officials blaming light winds trapping vehicle emissions and high regional air pollution.

The air pollution index (API) reached 154 at the roadside station in Central, 146 in Causeway Bay and 132 in Mong Kok by 5pm, the highest readings this year. The stations in Kwai Chung and Sham Shui Po saw high readings of 109 and 117.

The API has been at a “high” to “very high” level for several days, but is expected to improve from today.

An Environmental Protection Department spokesman said Hong Kong was being affected by a continental air stream with relatively high background air pollution.

The Observatory said the weak winds had been a major factor pushing up the city’s index.

“In fact, a west wind and an east wind are converging in the city, resulting in weak winds and hard dispersion for air pollutants,” a spokeswoman said.

“But the east wind will strengthen over the next couple of days. We expect that the air pollution will be improved from late [today].”

The Environmental Protection Department reminded people with heart or respiratory problems to cut physical exertion and outdoor activities, and to try to avoid congested streets.

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