Mon, Mar 20, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take: Dust storm moves in

PHOTO: WANG YI-SUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) issued an air quality warning for the entire country yesterday, as a dust storm from Mongolia and China's Inner Mongolia moved in, causing the amount of fine particulates in the air to rise to abnormal levels. EPA air monitoring stations reported that the PM10 level (inhalable particulates 10 microns in diameter or smaller) in the air had reached 200 micrograms per cubic meter as of 9am yesterday. The maximum safe level for a 24-hour period is 150 micrograms, according to US regulations. EPA officials said the dust was expected to clear the Taiwan area early today. They cautioned elderly people, children and those with respiratory problems to stay indoors to avoid inhaling fine dust particles in the air. According to the officials, the dust storm was formed three days ago as strong winds picked up fine sand and dry topsoil from arid regions in Mongolia and China's Inner Mongolia. The dust storm then swept south to the Korean peninsula, Japan and Taiwan.

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