Strong dust storm hits Delhi, air quality dips

Strong dust storm hits Delhi, air quality dips
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New Delhi: A strong dust storm barrelled through the national capital on Friday, affecting visibility and air quality, while cloudy weather and light rain brought the mercury down slightly, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

"A dust storm hit Delhi around 4 pm under the influence of a Western Disturbance affecting the hills. The maximum wind speed was around 70 kilometres per hour," an IMD official said.

Visibility at Palam dropped from 3,000 metres to 500 metres due to the dust storm. At Safdarjung, it was reduced from 2,200 metres to 1,500 metres.

Delhi's air quality index (AQI) also deteriorated to 252 at 6 pm from 238 at 4 pm.

An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301-400 'very poor', 401-500 'severe', and that above 500 falls in the 'severe plus' category.

Very light rain has been recorded in some areas of the city, the official said.

Delhi recorded a maximum temperature of 40 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature settled at 20.2 degrees Celsius.

On Thursday, the city had recorded a maximum temperature of 40.5 degrees Celsius, the highest so far this season.

The mercury is predicted to remain below 40 degrees Celsius for the next five to six days, the IMD said.