Air quality in Delhi on Wednesday moved to the "sever" level following groud-level dust storm in the Western parts of India which have led to a massive increase in coarser particles in the air, the Central Pollution Control Board data showed.
The CPCB data showed that the PM10 (particles with diameter less than 10mm) level was beyond "severe" at 778 in Delhi-NCR area and 824 in Delhi particularly, leading to hazy conditions and limiting visibility.
The air quality hovered in the "moderate" category all last week and rose to "poor" on Monday. On Wednesday morning, air pollution monitoring agency AQICN reported that PM2.5 levels at RK Puram and Okhla Phase II at around 0800 hours were at 660 and 738, respectively. Rohini (838), Wazirpur (858), DTU (849) and Anand Vihar (812) were even worse. Most of the other stations reported readings ranging between 325 and 800.
Moreover, the severe dust storms in Rajasthan and Haryana have also led to many people facing breathing problems in these states due to the suspended dust.
Gufran Beig, a scientist at the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research institute, said the dust storm deteriorated the air quality in Delhi-NCR.
"There was a ground-level dust storm in the western part of the country that increased drastically coarser particles in the air, causing a spike in pollution levels in Delhi," he said.
But the air quality should improve later today, he said.
"Such dust storms accompanied by high-speed winds (30-40 kmph) do not last too long due to which the air quality will return to normal by this evening," Beig added.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered Good, 51-100 Satisfactory, 101-200 Moderate, 201-300 Poor, 301-400 Very Poor, and 401-500 Severe.