Environmental Protection Department warns of 'Serious' air pollution
Since Saturday, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has recorded higher than normal air pollution levels. It is expected that the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) at some monitoring stations may reach the "Serious" health risk category today (Sept 11) and remain higher during the next couple of days.
Under the influence of a dry continental airstream, the weather in Hong Kong is fine and scorching with light winds, which is unfavourable for pollutant dispersion and results in rising regional pollution levels.
The intense sunshine enhances photochemical smog activity leading to the rapid formation of ozone and fine particulates in the Pearl River Delta region. The high ozone level also promotes the formation of nitrogen dioxide.
According to the forecast, it will remain sweltering with weak winds over the coast of Guangdong in the next few days. EPD expects that the regional pollution level affecting Hong Kong will remain higher than average until the advent of stronger wind.
With a health risk category in the "Very High" or "Serious" levels, children, the elderly and persons with existing heart or respiratory illnesses are advised to reduce physical exertion and outdoor activities to a minimum or avoid such activities.
The general public is advised to reduce outdoor physical exertion to a minimum and to reduce time staying outdoors, especially in areas with heavy traffic.