World Media

Indian city bans trucks due to winter smog

Indian city bans trucks due to winter smog

The emergency measures include odd-even rationing of private vehicles.

Although Punjab's air quality went from "moderate" on Diwali day to "poor" by night, it has shown an improvement compared to Diwali night a year ago when it was reported under "very poor" category. It is likely to remain in the "severe" category on Friday and Saturday as the smoke emitted by firecrackers has slowed down the process of pollutant dispersion, a report by government-run agency SAFAR said Thursday.

The Supreme Court had allowed bursting of crackers from 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali.

Unsafe levels of smog shrouded Delhi and surrounding areas on Thursday after revelers flouted a ban on fireworks - especially firecrackers - to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali.

People wear pollution masks while bursting firecrackers on Wednesday.

The Delhi Fire Services (DFS) responded to over 300 calls on fire incidents triggered by firecrackers and LPG cylinder blast, among others, on Diwali night in Delhi, including an incident in which two children lost their lives and two others were injured.

In 2017, the AQI was recorded at 367, a day after Diwali, while in 2016 it was 425.

"The Delhi Air Quality Index is 500+ at present".

California wildfires: 5 people found dead in cars trying to flee
On Friday, Newsom also declared a state of emergency for the raging fires also ravaging Ventura County near Los Angeles as well. Strong winds blow smoke horizontally over the the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean over the city of Malibu.

The online indicators of the pollution monitoring stations in the city indicated "poor" and "very poor" air quality as the volume of ultra-fine particulates PM2.5 and PM10, which enter the respiratory system and manage to reach the bloodstream, sharply rose from around 8 pm.

The contribution of PM2.5 and PM10 had increased from 50 per cent to 70 per cent last night, indicating an increased share of locally generated firecracker emissions, the Safar said.

The "hazardous" figure is roughly 33 times the World Health Organization safe limit of 25 and health experts advise people to stay indoors or use masks for protection.

On Thursday, the PM2.5 level was recorded at 492 gm-3, more than eight times the permissable limit.

Several areas in Delhi including Anand Vihar, ITO and Jahangirpuri have recorded the highest level of pollutants in the air and the Delhi government is planning to mull the odd-even rule back in the national capital.

A "severe plus emergency" AQI essentially means that even healthy people could suffer from respiratory illnesses like asthma on prolonged exposure. This air will seriously affect those with ailments, according to the advisory issued by Safar.

The top court had directed the police to ensure that banned firecrackers were not sold and in case of violation, the station house officer (SHO) of the area would be held responsible.

Violations of the Supreme Court order were reported from Mayur Vihar Extension, Lajpat Nagar, Lutyens Delhi, IP extension, Dwarka, Noida Sector 78 among other places.


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