Continuing strong winds expected to clear Delhi’s air of dust after 24 hours

A blanket of dust has enveloped parts of Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh after strong winds brought in dust from West Asian deserts.

Updated: Jun 15, 2018 14:37:52

Press Trust of India, New Delhi

A hazy view of Jama Masjid as Delhi’s air quality remained 'severe' on Thursday. (PTI)

Delhi may get relief soon as strong winds from the west are expected to clear the dusty stagnant air that has enveloped the city for the past few days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday.

“Strong dust raising winds of the order of 25-35 kmph likely to continue over Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi and west Uttar Pradesh during next 24 hours,” it said, adding that thunderstorms are expected too at isolated places over the city in the coming days.

“Thunderstorm accompanied with gusty winds and lightning very likely at isolated places over Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi , Rajasthan, east Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and north coastal Tamil Nadu,” the IMD said.

Delhi’s air quality remained severe for a fourth day with PM10 levels being recorded at more than seven times the permissible limit – PM10 levels was recorded at 754 in Delhi-NCR and 801 in Delhi, leading to hazy conditions.

PM10, or particulate matter 10, is a key measure of air toxicity that describes inhalable particles with diameters that are generally 10 micrometers or smaller.

“The air quality is expected to improve and clear the stagnated dusty air that has primarily led to the rise in the pollution level,” said Gufran Beig, a scientist at the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research institute (SAFAR).

The PM2.5 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 2.5 mm) that deteriorated from ‘very poor’ to ‘severe’ showed improvement on Friday at 184 in Delhi region and 175 in Delhi NCR, said the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.

On Thursday, the PM2.5 level in Delhi-NCR was at 268 and Delhi at 277.

According to the CPCB, the air quality index (AQI), a measurement of the concentration of toxic particulate matter in air, at several places in Delhi remained over 500.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 severe.

As the national capital region struggles with the severe dust pollution, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal ordered stoppage of all civil construction activities across the city till Sunday as part of the emergency measures which also include intensifying mechanical road sweeping.

First Published: Jun 15, 2018 14:26:06


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