Dust Storm in India Takes New Delhi’s Pollution to Triple the Hazardous Level

The India Meteorological Department said that it is likely to continue for another two days till May 18.

On Tuesday, a dust storm swept through New Delhi, and adding to people’s woes, it sent air pollution to hazardous levels apart from lowering the visibility in the Indian capital.

For the unversed, Dust storms are created when fast-moving winds take up dirt and debris into the air. It makes it difficult for everyone to see through or breath in, and they are highly dangerous for drivers as they can obstruct the vision.

The local office had predicted dust storms over the capital and neighbouring states, but at 11.30am local time, Delhi had an air quality index of 973, as per website IQAir, which means it was far above the “hazardous” threshold of 300. Not to miss, Delhi is already on the top of the list of most polluted cities.

Storm’s origin

The India Meteorological Department, after the dust storm, said that it is likely to continue for another two days till May 18, and added that the events are very likely in isolated pockets over Haryana & Delhi, West Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

Since it was a result of a strong anticyclonic trough, which had formed over parts of Northwest India and is headed east, there was no moisture in the air and also the absence of rain. Citing that the rough is located 900 metres above the surface of Delhi, which is causing winds to go up to 60 kilometres per hour, senior IMD scientist Dr. Soma Senroy told IndiaToday. “The trough extends in a region covering from Pakistan to Madhya Pradesh in India covering Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal, and Delhi.”

Meanwhile, the meteorologists have attributed the dust storm as being a combination of intense heat in northwest India and the parched soil due to the absence of rainfall, and strong winds.

The visibility levels close to the Indira Gandhi International Airport were at 1,100 metres at 9 am as compared to 4,000 metres at 9 am on Monday. It also means that the major surge in the PM10 concentration, caused due to dust particles, can harm the respiratory system when inhaled.

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