The air quality in Delhi on Wednesday deteriorated beyond the “severe” level because of a ground-level dust storm in western India, which increased coarser particles in the air, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data shows.

The control room of CPCB recorded PM 2.5 levels to be around 157 micrograms per cubic metre at 10 am and the PM 10 levels were recorded at 797 micrograms per cubic metre. The safe limit for PM10 is 100ug/m3 and the condition is considered severe if readings are above 430ug/m3.

Gufran Beig, a scientist at the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research institute, said the dust storm deteriorated the air quality in Delhi-NCR.

“There was a ground-level dust storm in the western part of the country that increased drastically coarser particles in the air, causing a spike in pollution levels in Delhi,” he said.

But the air quality should improve later today, he said.

“Such dust storms accompanied by high-speed winds (30-40 kmph) do not last too long due to which the air quality will return to normal by this evening,” Beig added.

The dust storm has also affected areas adjoining Delhi – Ghaziabad, Gurugram and Noida.

The Meteorological department has predicted that hazy conditions in the city will continue for the next 48 hours.

The air quality in Delhi deteriorated beyond the “severe” level because of a ground-level dust storm in western India which increased coarser particles in the air, the Central Pollution Control Board data showed.

According to CPCB, the air quality index at several places in Delhi crossed the 500-mark, with east Delhi’s Anand Vihar area recording an AQI of 891.

In Ghaziabad, the AQI was recorded at 863 and in Noida the reading stood at 880.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered Good, 51-100 Satisfactory, 101-200 Moderate, 201-300 Poor, 301-400 Very Poor, and 401-500 Severe.

(With agency inputs)