FIJI’S AIR REMAINS SAFE TO BREATHE FOLLOWING ERUPTION IN TONGA; SO2 CONCENTRATIONS IN ATMOSPHERE FALL WITHIN ACCEPTABLE LEVELS

22/12/2021

Due to the volcanic eruption that began on Monday morning (20/12/21) in Tonga, there has been a continuous emission of gas and ash into the surrounding atmosphere.
 
One of the emitted gases  is Sulfur dioxide (SO2). The Department of Environment has analysed the SO2 concentration levels over Fiji, provided by the Fiji Meteorological Service using satellite images.
 
The Department confirms that  the  SO2 concentrations within Fiji’s atmosphere are below the World Health Organization (WHO) Air Quality Guidelines 2021 levels and Fiji’s Environment Management Regulations 2007 standards and should not be a cause of alarm at this point in time.  The Sulfur dioxide is between 5,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level as confirmed by Fiji Meteorological Service.
 
The Department of Environment will continue to closely monitor the situation and work with the Fiji National Disaster Management Office and Fiji Meteorological Service.