New Delhi :
The devastating Cyclone Ockhi has left trail of destruction in southern states of the country and has put authorities in Gujarat and Maharashtra on high alert, but the severe storm, due to hit Gujarat, may turn out to be a boon for Delhi and neighbouring states, predicts NASA.
The space agency has predicted that Cyclone Ockhi may clear the smog present over northern cities of India including National Capital Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, and Ghaziabad.
The NASA Earth in a statement said, “Note the smog and haze to the north and east of the storm, remnants of an air pollution buildup in the north of India that may be cleared by the arrival of the storm.”
The agency statement also read, “Note, too, the streamers of dust and sand blowing out over the Arabian Sea from Pakistan and Iran (top left).”
Delhi and adjoining states are suffering from severe smog and dust pollutant due to stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana, and neighbouring country Pakistan.
On Tuesday, Delhi recorded air quality index (AQI) — a measure of pollutants in the air — of 379 on a scale of 0 - 500 at 8am. On Monday the average AQI was 390.
According to the Met department, the AQI level was still on the higher side of “very poor” category which falls between 301 and 400.
The air quality has improved a bit since November in Delhi and adjoining areas.
The issue came to the international limelight after Sri Lankan national cricket team complained of poor air quality on third day of the Kotla test match. They were seen sporting masks while fielding on Monday and Tuesday.