Many parts of Hong Kong were blanketed in smog on Wednesday, January 17, with 14 out of 16 air quality monitoring stations showing a “high” to “very high” health risks. The authorities are urging the elderly, children, and individuals with cardiac or respiratory illnesses to stay indoors.
This air pollution was brought by a warm airstream transporting pollutants. Rain and colder weather forecast for Friday, January 19, and then from Wednesday, January 24, onwards, should lower pollution levels.
Pollution has increased by 19 percent in Hong Kong over the past five years and has hit its worst levels in nearly two decades. According to the World Health Organization, excessive ozone in the air can have a “marked effect on human health” and can cause breathing problems, trigger asthma, reduce lung function, and result in lung disease.
Individuals present in Hong Kong are advised to keep abreast of the situation and to limit strenuous outdoor activities until pollution rates fall.