Smog hits Lahore amid rain forecast

Published December 11, 2019
LAHORE: A view of Canal Road blanketed by smog on Tuesday. — Aun Jafri / White Star
LAHORE: A view of Canal Road blanketed by smog on Tuesday. — Aun Jafri / White Star

LAHORE: Hazardous smog that was the worst in the region once again blanketed Lahore on Tuesday, causing eye, nose and throat irritations and aggravating pulmonary diseases.

Smog also lowered temperatures as it continued to block the sun till around 10am.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) was all-time high at some places. It was higher even than in Delhi which normally is considered the most polluted city in the northern parts of the subcontinent.

The US Twitter account indicated AQI at Lahore was 567 at 9am, 613 at 10am and 564 at 3pm. The overall average was between 449 and 495.

The Met department said AQI was 553 at 4pm while media reports indicated that it was 455 at Shimla Hill, 400 at Liberty Market, 434 at Upper Mall and 470 at Sundar Industrial Estate.

The Met office said rain and strong winds to be caused by an approaching westerly wave from Iran might clear Lahore and other cities of smog to some extent in the next two to three days.

It said the westerly wave was likely to approach the western parts of the country on Wednesday (today) and expected to grip most parts of the country on Thursday.

Showers expected

Scattered rain-thunderstorm with snowfall over hills is expected in upper districts of Balochistan during Wednesday and Thursday. Light to moderate rain-thunderstorm is also expected in Sindh (Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed Benazir­abad, Karachi) from Wednes­day (night) to Thursday.

Widespread rain-thunderstorm (with snowfall over hills) is expected in most districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Islamabad from Wednesday (night) to Friday.

Isolated heavy falls are also expected in Dir, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Hari­pur, Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Narowal and Islamabad on Thursday.

Widespread rain with snowfall over the hills is also expected in Kashmir and at scattered places in Gilgit-Baltistan from Wednesday to Friday.

Fog is likely to subside in the plain areas of the country.

In its daily forecast, the Met department said weather on Tuesday remained cold and dry in most parts of the country and very cold in the northern areas.

Minimum temperature in Skardu was -8 degrees Cel­sius, Astore -7, Gupis -6, Bagrote -4, Kalam -3, Gilgit -2 and Parachinar and Rawalakot -1.

An indigenous phenomenon

Though the onslaught of fog on Lahore is attributed by some to crop burning in the adjoining areas of India, experts reject this notion and point out the local causes.

Imran Khalid, who holds a PhD in Environment Policy, says that in autumn and winter, the warm air does not allow the cooler air underneath to rise, which leads to visible smog and this is what is being witnessed in Lahore.

Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2019

Opinion

Blurred boundaries
Updated 10 May 2021

Blurred boundaries

Karachi’s administration and provincial agencies have taken measures that hit the urban poor on a continuous basis.
Sequencing IMF reforms
10 May 2021

Sequencing IMF reforms

It is clear that the revival of and rise in economic growth is becoming a concept alien to the IMF.
‘Darlings of the court’
09 May 2021

‘Darlings of the court’

The public deserves to see and learn from the process by which Justice Isa won after having nearly lost.

Editorial

10 May 2021

Safe havens

THE pull-out of foreign forces from Afghanistan has security ramifications for that country as well as neighbouring...
10 May 2021

Important bills

AT last, there is some movement on critical legislation that appeared to have been put on the back-burner. The...
Al Aqsa clashes
Updated 10 May 2021

Al Aqsa clashes

US policy remains wedded to blind support for the Jewish state.
Updated 09 May 2021

Sharif mission aborted

THE government is in no mood to let PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif leave the country. The opposition leader was...
09 May 2021

Amazon opportunity

THE decision by global e-commerce giant Amazon to add Pakistan to its sellers’ list is expected to unleash ...
09 May 2021

PCB’s parental policy

THE Pakistan Cricket Board’s announcement of its parental support policy earlier this week is praiseworthy, for...