SCMP Tuesday, January 9, 2001

Air quality improves


Wind improved Hong Kong's air quality on Tuesday with key pollution indices falling below 100 at noon.
The indices for Central, Causeway Bay and Mongkok read 88, 86 and 78 respectively, although they were still high, according to the scale of the Environmental Protection Department.
The air pollution forecast for Tuesday is medium to high throughout the SAR.
Air quality was expected to improve further as northerly wind strengthens on Tuesday night.
Air pollution hit a nine-month high in Central on Monday, adding weight to a government proposal to ban vehicles from key streets to improve air quality and cut traffic accidents.
The lack of wind on Sunday caused pollutants - particularly nitrogen dioxide from vehicles - to be trapped and accumulate to very high levels, persisting for at least 24 hours, said principal environmental protection officer Raymond Leung Pak-ming.
The Environmental Protection Department says that when the index tops 100, people with respiratory and heart problems should stay indoors.