Hong Kong air pollution

High pollution readings recorded in Hong Kong as typhoon heads for mainland China

All but one of government’s air monitoring stations record maximum reading, which means pollution poses serious health risks

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 July, 2017, 7:20pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 July, 2017, 7:26pm

Hong Kong recorded high levels of air pollution on Saturday afternoon, posing serious health risks, authorities said.

According to the Environmental Protection Department, all but one of its 16 monitoring stations across different districts recorded the maximum Air Quality Health Index reading of 10 or above at 5.30pm.

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Only rural Tap Mun, located on an island in the northeastern part of Hong Kong, had a reading of 9 – which represents a “very high” health risk.

Earlier at 2.30pm, readings were still between 5, which is moderate, and 8, which is very high. Pollution levels worsened from 4.30pm.

Authorities attributed the higher than normal pollution levels to a continental airstream brought about by Typhoon Nesat, which is moving towards southeast China.

“The weather is mainly fine and very hot with moderate northerly winds ... The light winds hinder the effective dispersion of air pollutants,” a statement said.

The pollution levels are expected to remain “higher than normal” until Typhoon Nesat hits mainland China on Sunday.

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Two tropical cyclones are heading for mainland China, but both will continue to keep a distance from the city and the threat to Hong Kong is not high, the Observatory said.

Temperatures ranged between 28 and 34 degrees on Saturday. It is expected to be very hot and hazy with isolated showers on Saturday night.

On Sunday, a few sunny periods are expected to be followed by thunderstorms.

The government warned children, the elderly and persons with respiratory illnesses to stay indoors and avoid activities with heavy physical exertion.