Hong Kong recorded high levels of air pollution on Saturday, with conditions likely to worsen later in the day, authorities have said.
According to the Environmental Protection Department, as of 1pm, 14 out of 16 stations across different districts in the city recorded Air Quality Health Index readings ranging from 7 to 10, posing high (7) to very high (8 to 10) health risks.
Tung Chung on Lantau Island was the worst hit, with readings reaching a level of 10, while Tuen Mun, Causeway Bay and Central reached a level of 9.
Tsuen Wan, Yuen Long, Tai Po and Sha Tin followed next at a level of 8. Levels beyond 10 are considered “serious” health risks. The department attributed the “higher than normal” pollution levels to an airstream from the Pearl River Delta.
“Winds are light over the coastal areas of Guangdong today. Hong Kong is affected by an airstream with higher background pollutant concentrations from the Pearl River Delta. The light wind hinders effective dispersion of air pollutants,” the statement read.
It added that it expected the air quality index at some stations to reach a “serious” level later today.
But the high pollution levels will not last for long as increased wind speeds from a fresh easterly airstream is due to arrive in the next couple of days, the statement read, citing forecast from the Observatory.
With a “very high” health risk category, children, elderly and those with existing heart or respiratory illnesses are advised to reduce time outdoors especially in areas with heavy traffic.