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  • Dec 27, 2014
  • Updated: 9:48pm
NewsHong Kong

Smog clogs Hong Kong’s skyline as ‘very high’ pollution levels recorded

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 August, 2013, 3:02pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 August, 2013, 10:55pm

Much of Hong Kong was shrouded in a haze on Thursday as a continental air stream associated with Tropical Cyclone Trami contributed to the trapping of pollutants in the city’s air.

The air pollution index remained a “very high level” for most parts of the city on Thursday as smog and pollutants accumulated.

The high air pollution is a result of the trapping of local pollutants, in particular nitrogen dioxide, in the territory under the light wind coupled with the high regional background pollution
Dave Ho Tak-yin, Principal Environmental Officer

Roadsides of three busy areas were the worst hit. Mong Kok recorded a roadside air pollution index of 167 at 8am, Causeway Bay hit 184 and Central reached 174.

A reading of between 101 and 200 means the pollution level is very high and that people with heart or respiratory illnesses may notice a mild aggravation of their condition, according to the Environmental Department.

Visibility in Central also dropped to only 1,500 metres between 9am and 10am.

Principal Environmental Officer Dave Ho Tak-yin explained that local winds were stagnant under the influence of Trami, making it difficult for air pollutants to disperse.

“The light wind condition and intense sunlight favoured the photochemical smog in the region resulting in the high regional background pollution,” Ho said.

“The high air pollution incident is a result of the trapping of local pollutants, in particular nitrogen dioxide, in the territory under the light wind coupled with the relatively high regional background pollution,” he said.

Trami made a landfall in Fujian early on Thursday, bringing torrential rain and winds of up to 120 kilometres per hour to the province.

Ho added that pollution levels would remain high on Thursday, but would start to improve gradually later in the day as the wind was expected to pick up.

A regional air quality report released in April found air quality in the Pearl River Delta improved last year. Officials attributed the decrease to emission reduction efforts.

Video: How to deal with Hong Kong's smog - Clean Air Network's Sum Kwong tells The Post where this seasonal smog problem comes from and how to best deal with it when it comes to your family.

Last year, Guangdong expanded the supply of cleaner petrol and boosted a clean-up at power plants and cement kilns, and Hong Kong tightened its vehicle emission standards.

But Hong Kong concern groups said roadside pollution had deteriorated because the city had been slow in phasing out aged, heavily polluting vehicles. They said the government had to speed up the process in order to improve air quality at street level.

In April, severe pollution hit the city when the roadside readings in Central peaked at 210. Last August, the reading also hit 212 in the district.


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This article is now closed to comments

The Government continue to be unable or unwilling to address this most serious of issues.
Unforgivable and something that a democratically elected government would be held accountable for..
Poor people in HKG? Any complaints, just come to the beloved capital Beijing. Our usual reading here is 150 to 200, and no need to be on "the roadside". Just open your windows at home. I only start using my professional air mask (3M, looks like fit for chemical war) on my bike if over 200 index. Otherwise I should use it every day. And I guess the government in HKG is as powerless to really tackle the problem as here in Beijing. Air pollution has become a complex problem. Read "Toxic Capitalism"... (and shut the windows)
I wonder if all that Ghost Festival burning has anything to do with it...
Every cities and countries in the world have its own share of problems and Hong Kong City is NOT an exception. Hong Kong City of China does NOT and will NOT have a democratically elected government because it is NOT part of a democratic country, but a progressive communism, which is currently called capitalism. Hong Kong just has MORE liberties compared to her Mainland counterpart cities. As long as the Chief Executive/quasi/President/Pope/King/Emperor/Chancellor or whatever English title the Chief Executive of Hong Kong calls him/herself, his rank is only of a governor in Chinese. I am sure people of Hong Kong knows the difference between "Liberties" and "Democracy". Only a universal suffrage is the key to full democracy. As long as BeiJing appoints people in the puppet legco, there will never be a democracy. The right of speech and abode is not democracy, but is called "Liberties". Now to what extent this so called "freedom of speech, expression, religion and abode" is another topic for discussion. If this city ordinance starts to curtail these basic activities against the govt, then it is called "controlled-democracy", similar to Singapore. To all fellow expats who just know how to ****!n about the bad things in Hong Kong, let me tell ya, HKIA is open 24/7, you can always leave and go back to greener pasture of your homeland.Tell your boss that you are not happy w/ the way China is dealing with things. I am sure it is better to work at home and see results fr yr town.


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