Delhi's air turns 'severe'; relief likely from Saturday
New Delhi, Jan 17 (IANS) Contrary to pollution forecast, the overall air quality in Delhi and adjoining areas turned 'severe' on Thursday with toxic PM2.5 and PM10 being the major contributors.
Experts at System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) say the air in Delhi-NCR is expected to further deteriorate on Friday thanks to the decreased wind speed since Wednesday.
"An intense western disturbance along with induced cyclonic circulation and high humidity is another reason affecting north Indian region and may impact Delhi on Friday," SAFAR said, adding that relief is expected only from Saturday when the temperature is expected to increase by 2-3 degree Celsius.
The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi at 4 p.m on Thursday was recorded at 440 (severe), against Wednesday's 'very poor' air quality at 371.
In the national capital region, Faridabad at 450, Ghaziabad at 473, Greater Noida at 436 and Noida at 440 also dropped in the 'severe' zone against the previous few days' poor to very poor air.
On Thursday, across 35 areas in Delhi, where pollution is actively monitored, the average concentration of PM 2.5 and PM 10 was 375 and 548 microgrammes per cubic meter, respectively.
The concentration of PM 2.5 and PM 10 across 48 monitoring stations in the NCR stood at 348 and 517 microgrammes per cubic meter, respectively.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast light rains and thundershower from January 21 with a marginal increase in the minimum temperature which is likely to hover around 10 degree Celsius. As per the experts, this rain might wash out pollutants from the air and bring some relief to the national capital.
With AQI touching 'severe' levels, experts at SAFAR have advised everyone to avoid all physical activity outdoors including walking and keeping the room clean by wet mopping.
"Stop any activity level if you experience any unusual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing, breathing difficulty, or fatigue and consult Doctor. Avoid burning anything, such as wood, candles or even incense sticks," the experts suggested.
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