Health of millions at risk as dust haze blankets parts of country | Pakistan Today

Health of millions at risk as dust haze blankets parts of country

–NASA releases satellite imagery for dust river flowing across Pakistan, India

LAHORE: A thick blanket of dust haze covered parts of the country especially the federal capital and Lahore for the third consecutive day on Friday, affecting normal life and posing serious threat to human health.

Amid the Eid shopping spree and mass exodus, several people were found complaining of respiratory problems besides difficulties in commuting as motorists at several places had to switch on their headlights during the day with the visibility levels dropping.

“This is worse than the deadly smog that engulfed several parts of the country last year,” said Azeem Fateh, a resident of Lahore, while talking to Pakistan Today.

While air quality and visibility levels have been hit by the dust haze, Met office has said that the situation is likely to improve from Saturday (today) as rain and scattered thunderstorms are expected across the country – with some in Rawalpindi and Islamabad already starting on Friday afternoon.

Due to the dust and haze, the maximum temperatures also registered a fall for the second day and settled in the range of 35-40 degrees Celsius at most places.

Pakistan Air Quality Initiative also issued a statement in this regard on Friday. In a social media post, it stated that a river of dust over Punjab was causing hazardous air pollution. “Stay indoors and safe in Lahore, Faisalabad and Bahawalpur,” it said.

According to experts, a ground-level dust storm in deserts, with wind speeds up to 45 km/h, have led to the spike in the levels of coarse particles in the air not only in Pakistan but also India.

Delhi on Friday also witnessed a deadly blanket of dust haze and flight operations were disrupted across the Indian province of Punjab.

Following is NASA’s satellite imagery of the dust river flowing across Pakistan and India.

In view of severe dust pollution, the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) on Thursday issued an advisory that no construction activity could be carried out for the next two days in districts falling under the National Capital Region (NCR), while the authorities in Pakistan, on the other hand, completely ignored the threat.

Meanwhile health officials advised that children, the elderly and those who are ill, especially the ones facing respiratory issues, should take precautions and avoid going out amid the prevailing weather conditions.

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