Frequent fluctuations of air quality being unhealthy will come to normalcy after mid-February, National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) Air Quality Unit Senior Scientist H.D.S. Premasiri said.
Speaking to Daily Mirror, he said the situation had been occurring as a result of the Northeast monsoon, which prevailed since last November.
“The condition of air quality being extremely unhealthy is currently prevailing in the South Asian region resulting in some impact on Sri Lanka,” Mr Premasiri said.
However, he stressed the condition of Sri Lanka would come to normalcy after Mid-February with the end of Northeast monsoon.
According to data on Airvisual.com, air quality in the Colombo area was recorded with 130 Air Quality Index (AQI) at 12 noon yesterday.
Mr. Premasiri said air quality in the Colombo area was recorded unhealthy on January 15 as well.
He explained this unhealthy condition was due to the weather patterns and added the prevailing condition could have frequent fluctuations till mid-February, which would eventually come to a moderate level afterwards.
When asked as to how this situation could be tackled, he said vehicle emissions and other gaseous emissions released by others, should be limited because these gaseous emissions do not move up and away but remain at ground level due to the prevailing low pressure resulting in air stagnation conditions.
He said Colombo city had been the worst affected area due to a hike in the Air Quality Index (AQI) and added Kandy and Kurunegala were also considered as affected areas.
This was first recorded by the US Embassy’s air quality monitor in Colombo, which said there could be a rise in AQI on November 5 and 6.
The US Embassy's Air Quality Monitor in Colombo indicated unhealthy values of air quality with 167 Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded by 10 pm November 5. (Sheain Fernandopulle)