Air

Dust storm continues to choke Delhi

Air pollution levels alarmingly high a day after dust storms from Rajasthan hit the city

 
By Rajit Sengupta
Last Updated: Thursday 14 June 2018
Delhi’s average PM 10 levels were 8 times the permissible limit on June 13. Credit: Reuters
Delhi’s average PM 10 levels were 8 times the permissible limit on June 13. Credit: Reuters Delhi’s average PM 10 levels were 8 times the permissible limit on June 13. Credit: Reuters

At 12pm today, Delhi’s average PM 10 levels remained at a worrying 838.95 ug/m3, indicating that the dust storm that hit the capital on June 12 has continued. The 24-hours permissible levels of PM 10— the concentration of particulate matter of diameter less than 10 microns – is 100 ug/m3 and the current levels can cause “respiratory effects even on healthy people and serious health impacts on people with lung/ heart diseases. The health impacts may be experienced even during light physical activity”.

Satellite image as of 9: 30 pm today shows that dust-related conditions over northwest India have further worsened and occupied more areas, covering Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi and west Uttar Pradesh. Credit: Himawari

The city was engulfed in dust towards the afternoon on June 12 after strong anti-cyclonic winds blew from Rajasthan and caused “hazy” conditions in the capital. From a PM 10 level of 363 ug/m3 at 9 am on June 12, it spiked to 675 ug/m3 by 11 am. By 2 pm, PM 10 levels had reached 831 ug/m3, as per the Central Pollution Control Board. The highest PM 10 level was recorded at 10 pm.

Real-time air quality data. Source: Central Pollution Control Board.

The poor air quality continued to rise on 13 June, with PM 10 reaching 877 ug/m3 at 1 am. Media reports suggest the dust storm, which was triggered by strong anti-cyclonic winds from the desert areas in west Rajasthan, will continue for the next few days.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

India Environment Portal Resources :