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Air quality in Delhi remains beyond severe for third day

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Delhi Pollution

New Delhi | The air quality in Delhi remained beyond the “severe” level for the third day today, as authorities warned the dusty conditions are likely to prevail for another 3-4 days and advised people to avoid staying outdoors for long hours.

The air quality deteriorated because of dust storms in western India, particularly Rajasthan, which increased coarser particles in the air, the Central Pollution Control Board said.

The PM10 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 10mm) was beyond severe at 796 in Delhi-NCR and 830 in Delhi particularly, leading to hazy conditions.

According to the CPCB, the air quality index – a measurement of the concentration of toxic particulate matter in the air – at several places in Delhi remained beyond the 500-mark, with east Delhi’s Anand Vihar area recording a PM10 level of 929 and PM2.5 level of 301 this morning.

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”.

The wind blowing in the region has contributed to the spread of dust particles. According to the Met department, wind speed reaching up to 35 kmph is predicted for today in the city. The dust-laden winds have created a haze in Delhi-NCR since yesterday.

The Environment Ministry has said the dusty conditions are likely to prevail for the next three days. It has alerted construction agencies, municipal corporations and Delhi Pollution Control Committee to ensure water sprinkling.

The CPCB said pollution this summer is very different from last year. In November, both PM2.5 and PM10 spiked in the Delhi-NCR region, posing serious health hazard to residents.

However, the increase in pollution levels now is mainly due to drastic increase in coarse particles in air. This time the PM2.5, ultra-fine particles that may reach lungs and affect its functioning, is not as high as that of November last year.

A Sudhakar, CPCB member-secretary, warned residents that the pollution level is expected remain like this for 3-4 days and people are requested to avoid staying outdoors for more than 3 to 4 hours.

“There could be discomfort or breathing difficulties due to the pollution,” Sudhakar said.

“We have also called a meeting of construction companies and if the beyond severe condition persist we would stop the construction activities,” he said.

At an urgent meeting yesterday, the CPCB yesterday directed agencies concerned to contain local dust sources. The Environment Ministry too has requested the Delhi chief secretary to issue instructions to the agencies concerned.

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Karnataka government steps up relief, rescue operations in rain-hit Kodagu

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Kerala

Bengaluru, Aug 18 (PTI) Bolstered by the Army, Navy and Airforce, the state government today intensified relief operations in Kodagu district, as six people were killed in rain-related incidents during the last 24 hours.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy undertook an aerial survey of the district which has been experiencing heavy rain for the past three days.

Deputy chief minister Parameshwara tweeted today six people have been killed in Kodagu due to floods and landslides during the last 24 hours.

The government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of each of the deceased, he said, adding that the government would take care of the treatment of the injured.

Landslides were reported from some places in the district and authorities have stepped up efforts to rescue stranded people, officials said.

“There is a severe situation for the past three days.

Now the central and state rescue teams are working on a war footing,” Kumaraswamy told reporters here.

An M17 Air Force helicopter has been deployed to provide food packets to the marooned and to airlift them, the chief minister said.

The government has deployed as many as 948 personnel from the army engineering task force, Dogra regiment, Indian Navy, national disaster response force, fire and emergency services, home guards and civil defence, Kumaraswamy said.

In addition to this, 200 NCC cadets have also been deployed, he added.

About 50 earthmovers have also been working round the clock to clear debris caused by the landslips. Boats are also being used in the rescue operations.

“More than 2,500 people have been rescued.. in Jodupal village alone, 348 people have been rescued,” he said.

The state government has sanctioned Rs 100 crore for undertaking relief work in Kodagu district.

A sum of Rs 200 crore was announced as grant-in-aid to the affected districts for relief work a few days ago.

A committee, comprising senior administrative officers led by chief secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar, has been constituted to monitor relief operations, Kumaraswamy said.

“In Jodupal village, about 300 acres of land are lost in landslides. As many as 39 relief camps have been set up in the state, of which 30 are in Kodagu alone and the rest are in Dakshina Kannada district,” he said.

Revenue officers and doctors from Mysuru, Ramanagar, Mandya, Hassan and Chamarajnagar have been deployed in large numbers in Kodagu district.

The government has supplied 2.5 lakh litres drinking water for Kodagu district and efforts are also on to restore power supply in rain-hit areas, he said.

Kumaraswamy said he has directed officials to identify those who have lost their houses.

“At least 800 houses have been completely damaged in Kodagu due to rain..I have directed district authorities to identify those who have lost their houses and prepare a list.

Considering them as special cases, Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh will be given as compensation to them,” he said.

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Chandrababu Naidu speaks to Kerala CM, promises help to rain-hit state

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Naidu

Amaravati, Aug 18 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today spoke to his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan over the phone about the situation in the rain-ravaged state and assured him of providing all possible help in this hour of crisis.

A release from the Chief Minister’s Office here said Naidu expressed grief over the loss of lives and destruction of property in the monsoon fury.

Naidu assured Kerala that his state was ready to provide all possible help to it in this hour of crisis.

The Andhra Pradesh government had last night announced a financial assistance of Rs 10 crore to rain-ravaged Kerala.

Naidu told Vijayan that he would assist in mobilising more financial resources for rehabilitation work in Kerala.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh government today despatched a special rescue team comprising 66 disaster response and fire services personnel, a district fire officer, 12 motorboats and other equipment to Kerala.

A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel from Mangalagiri also left for Kerala by a special aircraft, State Disaster Management Authority Commissioner M V Seshagiri Babu said.

As many as 194 people have lost their lives and 36 are missing in Kerala since August 8 due to rains and landslides, while over 3.14 lakh people have been moved to relief camps.

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Tamil Nadu CM K. Palaniswami announces ₹5 cr. more, relief materials, medical teams for Kerala

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Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Saturday, August 18, 2018, announced relief materials including rice, milk and ₹ five crore more for relief operations in the flood ravaged Kerala.

Mr. Palaniswami said essential medicines and teams comprising medical and veterinary doctors will be immediately dispatched to the neighbouring state.

Over and above the ₹five crore contribution for relief given to Kerala on August 10 by Tamil Nadu, the Chief Minister said,”an additional ₹five crore,” will be provided from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund.

On August 9, Mr. Palaniswami had announced the ₹ five crore for relief and rehabilitation work.

As regards relief materials, 500 tonne rice, 300 tonnes of milk powder and 15,000 litres of Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) processed milk, 10,000 blankets besides dhoties and lungies (coloured dhoties) will be immediately sent to Kerala, he said.

“Also, relief materials worth crores received from Tamil Nadu people have already been sent to Kerala through authorities in districts and this work will continue,” Mr. Palaniswami said in an official release here.

To coordinate relief-related tasks to help Kerala, two senior IAS officials have been assigned to work under Commissioner for Revenue Administration, K Sathyagopal, the Chief Minister noted.

Expressing anguish over the loss of lives, Mr. Palaniswami conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced an immediate financial assistance of ₹500 crore to Kerala, after reviewing the flood situation in the state.

According to the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority, since August 8, 194 people have lost their lives so far and 36 are missing.

Over 3.14 lakh people have been moved to relief camps.

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