• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 10:28am
NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong's cold, dirty weather to continue

Health Department warns sick and elderly to take more care during cold weather

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 December, 2013, 5:11am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 December, 2013, 7:59am

Hong Kong will shiver its way out of 2013, with the cold, smoggy spell set to continue in the last few days of the year as polluted air flows in from the mainland.

The government opened cold-weather shelters for a third day yesterday and four elderly people were sent to hospital with hypothermia as the city recorded some of its lowest temperatures in three years. Two of the four people in hospital were in a serious condition last night.

Ta Kwu Ling, in the northern New Territories, saw temperatures drop to 2.7 degrees Celsius - the lowest in three years - while city averages ranged from 10 to 15 degrees Celsius.

"The elderly have less insulating fat beneath their skin to keep them warm, and their body temperature control mechanism may be weaker. Their bodies may not be able to appropriately respond to the cold weather," a Department of Health statement said. It urged the public, particularly the sick and elderly, to take precautions against the cold.

"Cold weather can easily trigger diseases, especially among the elderly and people suffering from heart disease, respiratory illness or chronic illnesses," the statement said.

The department urged Hongkongers to wrap up in adequate clothing, eat enough food, do exercise to keep warm and avoid being outdoors for long periods.

Meanwhile, roadside monitoring stations in Central, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok yesterday registered high and very high levels of pollution - with a peak of 140 in Central.

The air pollution index measures concentrations of major pollutants such as carbon monoxide and respirable suspended particulates in a range of 0 to 500. Readings above 51 are "high" - acceptable in the short term, but beyond long-term health standards. "Very high" is above 100, indicating air that is unhealthy in both the short and long term.

It has been a smoggy year overall, with only three out of 11 non-roadside stations recording days with low pollution. Last year, all stations recorded some days of low pollution.

Roadside monitoring stations in some of the busiest pedestrian thoroughfares - Causeway Bay, Central and Mong Kok - recorded mostly high and very high pollution levels. This was probably due to wind and weather conditions keeping the pollutants trapped in urban areas, said Kwong sum-ying, chief executive of the Clean Air Network.

Local vehicle emissions were the main source of roadside pollution, she added. "We used to think that LPG was better for the environment, but because the converters in many taxis and buses haven't been changed, they're not filtering out the pollutants," Kwong said.

The government is offering a one-time subsidy to drivers to replace the converters.


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This article is now closed to comments

our biggest polluter is ocean going vessel shipping pumping poorly combusted hi-sulphur treacle oil leftover slop into the air & dispersed by the wind direction then trapped in HKG's overbuilt urban canyons which are then craxped upon by the coal burning power station chimneys followed by the street level old vehicle emissions
North Easterlies blow all the Mirs Bay Yantian OGV emissions at Tap Mun & HKG
as the winds swirl we get the emissions from Deep Bay's Shenzhen port
Did you know that 16 super container carriers emit more emissions than all the world's car fleet combined ?
www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/apr/09/shipping-pollution (one ship emits same as 50 million cars)
Ms Kwong should take heed
Thanks for this important reminder....This ocean vessel issue is apparently a willful (and woeful) oversight of those who are responsible for legislation and oversight.
Are you reading Ms. Christine Loh? Got plans for 2014?
Agree with most of this article except its alarmism about the cold. It's not that cold. Put on a jacket for gosh sake. Drama queens...........
and of course currently we have the 4th largest port in the world with ships entering our harbour + berthing at Kwai Chung etc
The shippers themselves want regulation
What Govt proposes will treat only 40% of the current in-port traffic emissions with low sulphur fuel used at berth but not on the high seas and NO ECA
((( Between the !!! 0,97 and 1,03 !!! CO2 )))
APK keuringseisen voor uitlaat en uitlaatgassen
Naast veiligheid stelt de APK Keuring eisen ten behoeve van het milieu. De meting verschilt per brandstof van de auto:
Bij dieselmotoren wordt de uitstoot van roet gemeten
Bij benzine motoren wordt de uitstoot van CO2 gemeten en de zogenaamde 4-gas-test. Tijdens deze test wordt de meting verricht met stationair draaiende motor en bij een verhoogt toerental. Bij de APK keuring wordt gekeken naar de verhouding tussen verschillende uitlaatgassen. Deze wordt uitgedrukt in de Lambda-waarde en moet tussen de 0,97 en 1,03 zijn.
waar slaat dit nou op?


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