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EPA warns of unhealthy levels of air pollution

TAIPEI -- The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) warned Sunday that residents of western and southern Taiwan who have respiratory problems or allergies should avoid outdoor activities, as the level of air pollution in those areas was quite high.

The concentration of air particles over western Taiwan was 95-115 on the EPA's Pollutant Standards Index (PSI), and 100-120 over Kaohsiung and Pingtung in the south of the country, EPA data showed.

Both levels fall within a PSI range that is defined as unhealthy for sensitive groups, the EPA said, adding that the particles were carried by winds coming into Taiwan from offshore.

In the rest of the country, the air quality was normal, but dusty atmospheric conditions were likely in some areas of central Taiwan, in Tainan City in the south and in the counties of Yunlin, Chiayi and Taitung, as a result of windy conditions, the EPA said.

Meanwhile, the Central Weather Bureau forecast sunny weather for most of Taiwan Sunday, except in some eastern areas, where a few showers could be expected.

With the cold air mass over the country weakening, daytime temperatures in the northern and the eastern counties of Yilan and Hualien would reach 16-18 degrees Celsius, while in Taitung County and in central and southern Taiwan the range is likely to be 20-23 degrees, the bureau said.

However, residents of all areas should expect a temperature drop at night due to the radiation cooling effect, the weather bureau said.

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