Though Typhoon Morakot left Taiwan almost a month ago, fallout from the storm is still affecting the nation in many ways, including swamping eastern Taiwan in the dustiest winds it has seen in three years.
“Because large amounts of sand have been churned up by Morakot and are now exposed to the open air, and combined with the tropical low pressure outer currents of Tropical Storm Dujuan’s periphery, we have noticed that the entire island is being affected by dusty air,” said Chu Yu-chi (朱雨其), director-general of the Environmental Protection Administration’s department of environmental monitoring and information management.
In particular, in western Taiwan, Taichung County’s Shalu (沙鹿), Changhua County’s Siansi (線西), Yunlin County’s Lunbei (崙背) and Chiayi County’s Puzih (朴子) have seen floating particulates reaching 200 micrograms per cubic meter, Chu said.
“In Taitung County where Morakot was quite severe, the floating particle density reached 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter, the highest the region has seen in three years,” Chu added.
If the weather pattern remains relatively unchanged, Chu said the EPA expected the dust to linger until at least today.
People are advised to watch out for poor air quality in the coming days, Chu said.
“People with heart and lung problems, asthma, the elderly, children and those with chronic diseases should refrain from going outdoors whenever possible. Those who do go outdoors should wear facemasks and avoid strenuous activities,” he said.
To check for the latest air quality updates, visit taqm.epa.gov.tw/taqm.
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