15 killed in UP dust storms, flights cancelled in Delhi and Chandigarh as haze engulfs north India
Haze in north India prompted authorities to suspend civil construction works in Delhi and Haryana.india Updated: Jun 15, 2018 20:12 IST
A cloud of dust hung over vast swathes of north Indian plains for the third day in a row on Thursday, spiking air pollution levels and prompting authorities to suspend civil construction works in Delhi and Haryana. It also affected flight services at Chandigarh airport.
In Uttar Pradesh, dust and thunder storms hit various parts, leaving 15 people dead and 28 injured since Wednesday. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, the air quality deteriorated because of dust storms in western India, particularly Rajasthan.
A spokesman of the Uttar Pradesh government said, “Fifteen people were killed in dust storm (since Wednesday). Six died in Sitapur, three each in Gonda and Kaushambi, and one each in Faizabad, Hardoi and Chitrakoot.” Besides, 17 people were injured in Sitapur and 11 in Faizabad, he said.
Authorities in UP said dusty conditions are likely to prevail for another 3-4 days and advised people to avoid staying outdoors for long hours.
Low visibility led to cancellation of all flights to and from Chandigarh International Airport. “No flight landed or took off from Chandigarh until Thursday afternoon due to bad weather,” an airport official said.
In Delhi, airport officials said bad weather forced at least 27 flights to remain grounded on Thursday. Fourteen flight departures from Delhi and 13 incoming flights to the national capital remained cancelled, an official said.
The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) has issued an advisory that no construction activities, hot mix plants and stone crushers be operated for the next two days.
“Delhi and NCR areas and other parts of Haryana have been experiencing severe air pollution due to dust storm with the PM 2.5 value crossing even 500g/m3 and considerably higher PM10 values,” stated the HSPCB advisory.
“A veil of dust spread over the plains of Uttarakhand for the second consecutive day today (Thursday), reducing the harshness of the sun but adding to humidity levels. Strong winds blowing from Rajasthan and Punjab have brought with them both dust and moisture, affecting most of north India, including Uttarakhand and western Uttar Pradesh,” MeT office director Vikram Singh said in Dehradun.
The UP government has directed district magistrates of affected areas to ensure proper treatment of those injured and distribute relief cheques within 24 hours.
The Met department has issued warnings of thunderstorm accompanied with squall, dust storm and rain at isolated places over east Uttar Pradesh.
(With agency inputs)
First Published: Jun 14, 2018 22:25 IST