Hong Kong recorded “unhealthy” levels of air pollution on Wednesday, amid moderate northeasterly winds.
According to the World Air Quality Index, downtown Central recorded an Air Quality Index (AQI) scores of 190 at 4pm – several times worse than pollution levels in Beijing. Other districts of Hong Kong recorded similarly “unhealthy” AQI levels.
An AQI level between 151-200 means that members of the public “may begin to experience health effects.”
The Environmental Protection Department also recorded Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) scores of above eight in most districts of Hong Kong, posing a “very high” health risk.
The department recorded the highest levels of air pollution in Causeway Bay, with an AQHI of 10 at 4pm.
The Hong Kong Observatory said that the city is being affected by a dry northeast monsoon.
— Michael Cox (@KemblaCoxy) March 1, 2017
“Locally, it was hazy today,” the observatory said. “Visibility in the harbour once fell to around 4,000 metres.”
Worse than Beijing
Wednesday’s AQI figures for Hong Kong were over three times higher than those for Beijing, often known for its serious smog problems.
Air quality in downtown Hong Kong 7+ times worse than Beijing right now ? pic.twitter.com/Q9wVDVXbv3
— Benjamin Haas 本雅明 (@haasbenjamin) March 1, 2017
At 4pm, the US State Department recorded an AQI level of 53 in the Chinese capital, representing a “moderate” level of air pollution.
Hong Kong’s pollution levels were also higher than those for the Chinese mega-cities of Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chengdu.
According to the observatory, moderate north to northeasterly winds are also expected for the city on Thursday.