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Vog over Oahu starts to clear

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    CTY VOG- 09 OCTOBER 2012- Vog obscured the view from Tantalus Dr. looking towards the airport on Tuesday. Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo by Cindy Ellen Russell

The vog that obscured views for the last several days is starting to dissipate today.

“Usually when we have southerly winds, there is always the threat of vog,” said Henry Lau, forecaster for the National Weather Service in Honolulu. “The degree of vog tends to vary and I believe this is one of the thicker episodes. We tend to forget about it because it happens so infrequently.”

The volcanic air pollution blanketed parts of Oahu — far from its source, the ever-active Kilauea on Hawaii island, which has been releasing sulfur dioxide gas for decades. Vog can cause breathing trouble, headaches and eye irritation.

“Apparently the vog that had been blown south of the islands has been blowing back north and affecting primarily Oahu,” Lau said today. “We can see a strip or a band, north to south oriented, affecting Oahu and a portion of the Kauai channel.” 

Lorraine Leslie, executive director of the American Lung Association in Hawaii, urged local residents to take precautions when vog conditions hit.

“We always recommend that people stay indoors and drink plenty of warm fluids, have their medication on hand and avoid outdoor activity,” Leslie said. “It is not the time to do your gardening or take a jog.”

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