Kathmandu Valley breathes world’s worst air once again

Published On: April 6, 2021 10:02 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Wildfires reported in more than 60 districts, flights disrupted, concern authorities remain silence 

KATHMANDU, April 6: The federal capital of the country, the Kathmandu Valley breathed world’s worst air once again on Monday.

Kathmandu was the world’s most polluted city on Monday with Air Quality Index (AQI) of 256, according to IQAir, an international organization that collects and publishes data on air pollution.

Similarly, the fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) reading was measured at 295.39 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) at 7 to 8 AM and 298.79 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) at 6 to 7 AM today, according to Drishti Kathmandu. 

The air pollution has risen not only in the Valley but also across the country due to numerous wildfires in more than 60 districts of the country.  According to the latest data from the Department of Environment, the air quality index of 210 was recorded on average at Rara Lake in Mugu districts in the past 24 hours.

AQI of 200 to 300 is regarded as very much harmful to human health.

Kathmandu, Rara, Dhangadi, Bharatpur, Simara and Saura are among the worst hit places by the air pollution in Nepal. AIQ in most of these places had surpassed 300 on Monday.

Currently, Kathmandu Valley and other cities are blanketed with thick smog, making difficulty in breathing. This has also reduced visibility in and around Kathmandu Valley.

The weather condition of the Kathmandu Valley is not likely to improve any time soon, according to the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.

Nepal witnessed wildfires in more than 530 places on Monday, according to a data maintained by the Department of Forest and Land Conservation. However, the government and concerned authorities have been unable to take immediate and effective actions against it.

As the air quality deteriorates across the country, environmentalists urge one and all, especially children and elderly, to remain indoors unless necessary.


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