Monday, 31 October 2016 - 15:11
Smog chokes Indian capital as pollution hits hazardous levels
Residents of New Delhi woke up to a blanket of smog on Monday as air quality deteriorated sharply overnight in India's capital, triggering warnings that even healthy people were at risk of respiratory problems.
New Delhi ranks among the world's most polluted cities, with air quality usually worsening at this time of year, when smoke from firecrackers celebrating the Hindu festival of lights and crops burnt in nearby states envelops the city of 16 million.
Drivers crawled through a thick fog as experts warned people to avoid outdoor exertion.
"Last night, levels hit the severe category, which is the worst. You could see and sense how the visibility had come down and there was a choking haze all around," said Anumita Roychowdhury at the Centre for Science and Environment.