Taipei, March 17 (CNA) The air quality was unhealthy for sensitive groups or even the general public in most parts of central and southern Taiwan and in the offshore county of Kinmen Saturday, according to the Environmental Protection Administration's (EPA's) Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network.
As of 11 a.m., the only monitoring stations throughout central and southern Taiwan that did not flash orange or red were in Hengchun, Taiwan's southernmost township in Pingtung County and one each in Taichung City and neighboring Changhua County, according to the network (http://taqm.epa.gov.tw/taqm/en/).
All monitoring stations in downtown Kaohsiung City, three in Tainan City and two in Nantou County flashed red, indicating air quality that is unhealthy for the general public.
All three counties in eastern Taiwan enjoyed good quality air while northern Taiwan, including Hsinchu and Miaoli Counties, and the offshore islands of Penghu and Matsu had moderate (yellow) to good air quality (green).
For Sunday, the picture is expected to remain the same except air quality in Kaohsiung could upgrade from red to orange.
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.