Smog in New Delhi, long considered the world’s most polluted city, is now so bad that you can see it from outer space, as confirmed by a series of photos released this week by NASA.
It has been ten days since the Diwali festival, which was blamed by many in the country for exacerbating the air pollution problem with fireworks and firecrackers.
In the days following the festival, air pollution has been measured at hazardous levels. According to CNN, on Monday afternoon, the AQI [Air Quality Index] at the American Embassy was 999 - sixteen times the safe limit set by WHO.
By comparison the most polluted city in China, Baoding, only registers at 298 and London is 66.
Since 1 November a channel of milky smog has been seen running from as far north as Lahore, in Pakistan, to Agra – the location of the Taj Mahal.
The Indian government has now declared a state of emergency and Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kerjiwal compared the city to a “gas chamber”.
Precautions are being taken to protect elderly and vulnerable people as schools were closed for a three-day period and construction work has been prohibited for the next ten days.
But NASA aren’t the only ones highlighting the true extent of the smog, with Delhi residents and tourists sharing their photos on social media.