US space agency NASA has released satellite images showing how a thick haze has enveloped much of the North India as poisonous air chokes resident in Delhi and neighbouring states.
Releasing the images taken by NASA’s Aqua satellite on November 7, the space agency said the haze is due to smoke from crop fires in Punjab and Haryana which has blown across northern India and Pakistan. With the arrival of cooler weather in November, the smoke mixed with fog, dust, and industrial pollution to form a particularly thick haze, it said.
The image shows how North India and parts of Pakistan is covered in haze and fog.
The image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.
While one image natural-colour image shows haze and fog blanketing the region, the second image, a data map based on observations from the same sensor, depicts aerosol optical depth, a measure of how airborne particles affect the reflection and absorption of light by the atmosphere.
The third image, captured by Terra satellite, shows how thick haze continued to linger over the region on November 8.
A thick grey smog continued to engulf Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh for the third consecutive day today.
In Delhi on Thursday morning, Air Quality Index stayed in 'Hazardous' category with the AQI touching as high as 799 in some areas.
Authorities have also taken some stringent pollution control measures, halting construction activities and banning entry of trucks in the city.
The Indian Medical Association had declared a "public health emergency" and appealed to the government to stop outdoor sports and other such activities in schools to protect the health of children.