Delhi's air quality deteriorates to 'severe' category, rainfall may bring respite

Delhi's air quality on Saturday deteriorated to 'severe' category on Saturday due to reduced wind speed.

However, the authorities have predicted rainfall in the next couple of days, saying it might lower the pollution level. The overall air quality index (AQI) in the city was recorded at 410, which falls in the 'severe' category, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. An AQI between 100 and 200 comes under the 'moderate' category, 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', while that between 401 and 500 is 'severe'.

Twenty-two areas recorded 'severe' air quality and 13 areas 'very poor' air quality, the CPCB said.In the National Capital Region (NCR), Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida and Greater Noida recorded 'severe' air quality, it said.The overall PM2.5 level fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers in Delhi was recorded at 287, while the PM10 level was at 443, it said.The Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) said the air quality may improve in the next two days under the influence of light rains which is expected thereafter.

"The overall air quality will deteriorate further, with small fluctuations in the next three days if it does not rain. Other meteorological conditions are not favourable although foggy conditions are likely to reduce now," the SAFAR said.Delhi's air quality was recorded in the 'poor' category Wednesday and Thursday with increased wind speed which helps in cleansing the air before slipping into 'very poor' on Friday morning before nosediving towards 'severe' pollution level. 

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