North India exposed to severe air pollution levels morning after Diwali
Large parts of north India woke up to “severe” air quality on Thursday, a day after Diwali firecrackers added to the already deteriorating pollution levels across the region. Lucknow and Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar’s capital Patna recorded severe air quality index (AQI) of 421, 401 and 423 respectively around 9am. Delhi, Uttar Pradesh’s Agra and Ghaziabad and Faridabad in Haryana also had AQI in “very poor” category with the air quality worsening very rapidly at individual stations in the national capital after 3am on Thursday. Particulate matter or PM2.5 (fine, respirable pollution particles) levels went up to “severe +” category considered to be the most dangerous that can trigger health impacts even among healthy people. PM2.5 levels peaked to more than 1,000 micrograms per cubic metres at some stations in Delhi on Thursday morning but the average levels hovered around 700 micrograms per cubic metres compared to a safe standard of 60 micrograms per cubic metres. Urbanemissions.info, a research organisation that tracks air quality in all districts through satellite measurements, released a district wise map on Thursday showing the northern states in severe air quality.
It also released a line graph showing the impact of bursting of firecrackers on air pollution spike in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) over Wednesday night and Thursday morning.