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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The air quality declined to the 'severe' category, prompting the govt to advise people to avoid outdoor activities.
With the mercury dipping in the region with each passing day and a blanket of dense fog engulfing most parts of the national capital on Monday morning, several train and flight operations are adversely affected in Delhi.
A dense layer of fog enveloped the area in and around New Delhi railway station this morning and as many as 30 trains are running late due to low visibility in the Northern Railway region. Moreover, due to bad weather, flight operations at the New Delhi airport have also been affected.
"Normal operations have been suspended at Delhi airport due to poor visibility, only CAT III B(instrument landing system) compliant pilots can land. Passengers are requested to stay in touch with the airline concerned for updated flight information.
Due to the foggy weather conditions and low visibility at the airport, three flights diverted and none has been cancelled," Delhi Airport said in a statement.
A CAT IIIB system helps with a precision approach and landing when the runway visibility is at a distance no less than 50 feet (15m) and is at a visual range less than 200 meters and most certainly not less than 50 meters.
Dense fog is also being witnessed near Kalindi Kunj, Mayur Vihar Phase-1, RK Puram, Delhi cantonment area and other places of the national capital.
A minimum temperature of 2.5 degrees Celsius was recorded in the national capital on December 29. Early morning today, the temperature in Delhi was at 4.6 degrees which at Palam was recorded as 4.8-degree celsius.
Meanwhile, many homeless people have taken refuge at different night shelters that have come up near Anand Vihar Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT), Sarai Kale Khan etc.
On Saturday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued a 'red' warning for the national capital as cold wave conditions continued unabated in the region. The red colour denotes extreme weather conditions.
From December 31 onwards, rain is likely in the capital city and its adjoining areas such as Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad and Faridabad.
This weather phenomenon is likely to continue till January 3, predicted the weather forecast agency.
Air quality turns 'severe'
The air quality declined further and plunged to the "severe" category with the air quality index (AQI) crossing 450-mark on Monday, prompting the government to advise people to avoid outdoor activities.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 is marked as severe/hazardous. The AQI was recorded at 440 with PM10 and 264 with PM2.5 at 8 am, said System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
While Dilshad Garden recorded pollution levels at 419 with PM 2.5, it was at 494 in Okhla Phase-2 and 480 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, according to the Central Pollution Control Bureau (CPCB). In Delhi airport area, the AQI was recorded at 431.
On Sunday, the air quality entered the "severe" category but pollution levels hovered around 400-mark. It was recorded "very poor" category on Saturday.
In an advisory, SAFAR asked everyone to avoid physical outdoor activities and morning walks. "Stop any physical activity if you feel unusual caughing, chest discomfort, breathing difficulty or fatigue," it said.
It has also advised people to close the window pan of their houses.
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