Taipei, March 16 (CNA) The air quality was mixed around Taiwan on Thursday, with eastern Taiwan and most parts of northern Taiwan enjoying good air quality and many areas in central and southern Taiwan experiencing unhealthy levels of air quality, according to the Environmental Protection Administration's (EPA's) Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network.
As of 11 a.m., the monitoring stations in Pingtung City and Kaohsiung City's Qiaotou, Nanzi and Qianzhen flashed red, meaning the air quality was unhealthy for the general public.
The stations in Nantou City, Nantou County's Puli and Zhushan, Yunlin County's Douliu, Chiayi City, Tainan City, and the rest of Kaohsiung City, flashed orange, indicating the air quality was unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as young children, the elderly and people with a chronic disease, according to the network (http://taqm.epa.gov.tw/taqm/en/).
Meanwhile, the stations in Taipei City, eastern Taiwan's Hualien and Taitung counties, northeastern Taiwan's Yilan County, and most areas in Taoyuan County, Maioli County, Taichung City and Changhua County flashed green, meaning that the air quality was good.
For the rest of the country, the air quality was yellow, indicating "moderate" or the second best on the scale from green to maroon.
For Friday, the air quality is forecast to flash red in Kaohsiung and Pingtung; orange in central Taiwan and Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan; yellow in the north and in Hsinchu and Miaoli; and green in Yilan, Hualien and Taitung, according to the network.
The EPA's six-color scale takes into account ozone, PM2.5 and PM10 particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide concentrations in the air.
Green represents "good" air quality, with a pollutant reading of less than 50; yellow indicates "moderate" at 50-100; orange means "unhealthy for sensitive groups" with a reading of 101-150; red indicates "unhealthy" with a range of 151-200; purple signifies "very unhealthy" with a level of 201-300; maroon represents "hazardous" with a reading of 301-500.
(By Christie Chen)