KATHMANDU: On Friday, the sky of Kathmandu Valley was suddenly covered with a dusty blanket. It has become difficult to breathe and people feel eye pain.
According to hydrological meteorologist Ngamindra Dahal, the air in Kathmandu has been polluted due to the long drought which has dried up the air and brought smoke and dust.
He said that the wind should have brought clouds in the low pressure area for rain, but instead the wind had brought dust and smoke. “The wind from Attaria of far-west Nepal has reached Kathmandu. The atmosphere up to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in India is covered with dust,” he said.
Dahal added that more than 400 forest fires have taken place in recent times and air pollution has been caused due to smoke from there.
Deputy Director General and Spokesperson of the Department of Environment Indubikram Joshi also said that the air quality has deteriorated due to fire and other pollution.
The air quality in the Bhainsepati area of Kathmandu is 470 AQI (Air Quality Index). Similarly, Bhaktapur has 305 and Kirtipur has 221.
All the international and domestic flights were canceled due to poor visibility in Kathmandu.
The Meteorological Department has also estimated that the weather has deteriorated due to fire in the surrounding area. “The dust particles have been in the atmosphere for a few days. We have estimated that the visibility has decreased due to the forest fire,” said meteorologist Raju Pradhanang.