Mumbai slips behind a curtain of dust

March 21st, 2012 - 8:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, March 21 (IANS) Mumbai slipped behind a thick blanket of dust Wednesday as the city’s weather suddenly changed. Weather officials said it is owing to the ongoing dust storm in Rajasthan.

“The dust haze in Mumbai is owing to the dust storm in Rajasthan since the last two days. It has not only affected Mumbai and Maharashtra but also many parts of Gujarat,” director of weather forecast, India Meteorological Department, V.K. Rajeev told IANS.

Rajeev said the dusty haze is a result of dust particles suspended in the atmosphere which have come blowing from Rajasthan.

“The visibility dropped to around 1,000 metres from the normal 4,000-5,000 metres. Small flights might be affected, but so far no such cases have been reported,” he said.

He said the haze in the state skies since Wednesday morning has started to clear out and the skies are likely to clear out by Thursday morning.

Rajeev, however, said there are no major health hazards entailing the dust haze. “Although, those with dust allergy are advised to exercise caution,” he added.

Rajeev said the haze is stronger in northwest and central Mumbai. “The condition in south Mumbai is better,” he said.

Meanwhile, people allergic to dust complained of abnormal sneezing and other allergies. “I have decided to remain indoors and step out only to reach home from my work place and stay put indoors,” said Amit Shah, an asthma patient.

Citizens of Mumbai were caught unawares as the dust curtain descended on the city only after the rush hour, while the morning skies were absolutely clear.

“I did not face any problem travelling in the morning. But later when I stepped out of office, I had to drive my motorcycle very carefully because of low visibility,” said Anish Dhawan, a resident of Santacruz in northwest Mumbai.

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