Delhi's Air Quality Turns Hazardous Post Diwali

by Iswarya on  October 30, 2019 at 9:23 AM Environmental Health
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Delhi's air quality turns hazardous with a thick haze covering the city post-Diwali and the AQI index shooting up sharply.
Delhi's Air Quality Turns Hazardous Post Diwali
Delhi's Air Quality Turns Hazardous Post Diwali

As per US Embassy figures, the AQI count for pollutant PM 2.5 is 350 on Tuesday evening. AQI values over 300 trigger health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is even more likely to be affected by serious health effects, according to the advisory.

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Though the AQI had moderated in the morning, it worsened in the afternoon around 1 p.m. and hit a peak score of 355 at 4 p.m., as per US Embassy data.

Post-Diwali, the Delhi NCR region, has been choked by high pollution levels after the bursting of firecrackers.

According to a forecast by Safar India, the overall air quality of Delhi has improved as a level of 24 hours averaged value of lead pollutant (PM2.5) returned back to below 250 early Tuesday morning that is defined as "Very Poor," as forecast.

As indicated in the extended range SAFAR forecast, the overall pollution level during the Diwali period of the current year (2019) was found to be better than the past three years. Boundary layer winds speed helped to flush out an additional load of Monday night.

Safar India said that as of Tuesday, the stubble plume from northwest regions had become one of the significant factors in deteriorating Delhi's air quality. As evident from SAFAR multi-satellite fire product, effective stubble fire counts of Haryana and Punjab have increased from 1,654 to 2,577 during the past 24 hours after showing a noticeable dip on October 27.

According to the forecast, and increased stubble fire count alone won't affect Delhi's air quality unless meteorological conditions (in particular wind direction towards Delhi and its speed along with ventilation potential locally) are favorable for the intrusion.

On Tuesday, the transport level wind direction is northwesterly and hence favorable for plume transport, and as per SAFAR-model, the stubble share may touch this year's peak value of 29 percent on Wednesday.

Surface winds are not stagnant since Monday and flushing out pollutants, but they are likely to be slowing down during stable night hours, helping accumulation.

"AQI is forecasted to be in higher-end of very poor category for the next two days with few touching higher levels. An increase in boundary layer wind speed is expected by November 1, which is likely to bring improvement in AQI," the forecast said.

Source: IANS

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