Sandstorms expected to hit Taiwan this weekend

Saturday, March 24, 2012

TAIPEI--A wave of sandstorms is expected to hit Taiwan over the weekend, affecting the air quality, according to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Friday.

The agency said a cold air mass moving in from China is expected to carry dust from China's western Xinjiang region and northern areas, which will influence the air quality of the entire island. The first sandstorm of the season affecting Taiwan, its level of concentration in particulates could reach 150-300 micrograms per cubic meter, the agency said, around three to six times that of the usual standard in Taipei City.

“If the cold air mass brings sufficient precipitation, the impact of the sandstorm on air quality could be alleviated,” said EPA Official Chang Shun-chin.

However, according to Central Weather Bureau forecast, the moisture brought by the cold front starting later Friday is only expected to last until Saturday morning.

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