In the Indian capital Delhi, residents woke up Monday to a blanket of smog over the city ahead of Diwali.
Visibility is poor as pollution levels reached 20 times the World Health Organization’s recommended limit. The Indian capital is the sixth worst place in the world for pollution, according to WHO data.
Diwali, the most important Hindu festival in north India, celebrates the victory of good over evil. Diwali is celebrated with fireworks and over the last few years, celebrations have seen the air pollution rise to hazardous levels. The air quality is expected to worsen in the coming days, experts warn.
The pollution level in the city dipped and was categorized as “poor” on Sunday, but rose sharply by Monday morning. Authorities in Delhi have warned residents to stay indoors and started to shut down construction activity to reduce pollution. The situation is so bad the Supreme Court has restricted the time frame for setting off firecrackers to only two hours during the day.
Photo: "Diwali Celebrations" by Raj is licensed under CC BY 2.0