Real time images released by NASA on Sunday, 13 October, show an alarmingly high number of crop burning incidents in North West India and adjoining parts of Pakistan.
The US space agency suggested that this may be the cause for the increase in pollution levels in different parts of the this area around this time, with Delhi especially feeling the brunt.
While an AQI (Air Quality Index) between 0 and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe', the overall AQI in Delhi was already 301 by 10 pm on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the air quality in neighbouring Ghaziabad was 320, Greater Noida was 312, Haryana's Alipur Khalsa was 351 and Panipat was 339, all falling in the range of ‘very poor’.
The System of Air Quality and Weather Forcasting and Research (SAFAR) issued an urgent health advisory asking people with heart or related diseases and children to avoid longer and heavy exertion. They also warned that everyone may experience some health effects and significant increase in respiratory problems.
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