Air Pollution choked Northern cities post Diwali

Facts:

  • Diwali celebration in the country on Sunday has choked many North Indian cities including Agra, Ahmedabad, Patna, Delhi and Varanasi with particulate matter pollution.
  • The concentration of the fine particulate matter rose to such alarming levels that it posed a threat to the respiratory health of even the normal people.
  • An Air Quality of Index (AQI) of 384 was recorded for the city of Agra and 385 for Ahmedabad. Delhi and Faridabad had the worst AQI at 428 and 445 respectively. An AQI of 100 is accepted as the limit for good air quality. In Delhi smog with visibility upto 200 meters dawned the next morning.
  • While cities of Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai were in the ‘moderate’ to ‘satisfactory’ category in Air Quality Index, Hyderabad improved from ‘poor’ to ‘satisfactory’ as compared to the previous year.

Background:

  • The pollution during this year’s Diwali was predicted to be worse than 2014 and 2015 owing to a combination of adverse meteorological factors.
  • System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) had predicted that AQI will be 443 on Diwali day and rise to 472 the day after in Delhi.
  • AQI between 300-400 is rated as very poor and above 400 is rated as severe.
  • As per SAFAR health advisory, when AQI is severe, people should avoid all outdoor physical activities.
  • The Air quality Index had started to deteriorate from October 27 onwards mainly due to an anti-cyclonic effect- a large scale circulation of winds around a central region of high atmospheric pressure which prevents dust and particular matters from being swept away.
  • Diwali celebration and falling temperature increased the concentration of PM 2.5(particulate matter 2.5 micrometres and smaller) and PM 10 in the atmosphere.
  • The poor regional air will continue to stay because of the low wind speed and high moisture content as this weather system will not take away the accumulated pollutants. But the effect of the crackers will dissipate soon.

Sources:

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/pollution-cloud-hangs-over-northern-cities-after-deepavali/article9288720.ece

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/et-tv/delhi-pollution-levels-alarming-post-diwali/videoshow/55174383.cms

 

– News post compiled by  Merrin Muhammed Ashraf and Suzann Dinu

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