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Subject China sandstorm fuels record pollution in HK, Taiwan- stay indoors or face masks
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Original Message [link to www.terradaily.com]
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Hong Kong (AFP) March 22, 2010
Air pollution in Hong Kong and Taiwan soared to record levels as officials warned Monday of a public health menace from a toxic stew of particulates, fuelled by a massive sandstorm over Beijing.
Readings of Hong Kong's Air Pollution Index were more than double the level at which the general public is advised to stay indoors.

"Today's API is at record high levels," a spokeswoman for the Environmental Protection Department told AFP.

Hong Kong's famed skyline and harbour is often shrouded in a blanket of haze which has been criticised as a public health disaster and blamed for driving many expatriates away from the international financial hub.

Pollution in nearby Taiwan hit record levels Sunday, shrouding the island and forcing authorities on Monday to call on residents to stay indoors.

"This was the first time ever in Taiwan that air pollution was measured to be at such serious levels over such a wide geographic area," said Chang Shun-ching, an official at the Environmental Protection Administration.

"Residents should stay indoors," he said. "For those who need to go out, they had better wear face masks."

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