“Too Much Smog,” Thick Blanket Of Toxic Smog Gripped Delhi And Nearby Cities After Diwali

Story Highlights
  • A thick blanket of toxic smog wrapped Delhi and nearby cities.
  • Airborne PM2.5 can cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
  • Patients with respiratory problems been advised to stay indoors.

Delhi: For the second day in a row, a dense layer of deadly smog blanketed Delhi and neighboring cities, as the national capital region continued to suffer from a post-Diwali hangover. The AQI in Delhi at 6 a.m. was 533, putting it in the severe category. The AQI was higher in the surrounding areas of Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, and Greater Noida.

The national capital’s air quality deteriorated to dangerous levels Thursday night and Friday as hundreds of people in the city and surrounding areas disobeyed firecracker prohibitions issued by the Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana governments.

Today, the city awoke to a shroud of harmful pollution, with particulate matter (PM) readings at 457, the highest in three years. PM2.5 concentrations in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar were 341 per cubic metre, well beyond the WHO’s recommended healthy level of 25. PM2.5 in the air can cause heart and lung illness, as well as lung cancer. Those suffering with respiratory issues have been urged to remain indoors.

A cyclist complained of “too much smog,” claiming that they were having trouble seeing and breathing due to reduced visibility. “There is hope… but for now it doesn’t seem like the pollution will ease,” another remarked if the Delhi government reinstated its odd-even policy. According to numerous surveys and studies, Delhi has the worst air quality of any world capital.

Despite the Delhi government’s prohibition on crackers, including “green” ones, several people were observed exploding crackers on Diwali day, leading to the worsening of air quality. With the wind direction turning to the northwest, the stubble burning share may grow to 36% on Friday and 40% on Saturday, according to SAFAR model estimates.

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