Poor visibility due to a thick blanket of smog enveloping Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) has resulted in residents complaining of a variety of health issues, including irritation in the throat and eyes, and breathlessness.
Local people have taken to social media platforms to vent their resentment over their heightened risk of developing illnesses including lung disease, heart disease, cancer and asthma.
Twitter exploded with memes as residents compared their plight to the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Plant disaster.
This picture is from yesterday when the AQI levels had reached somewhere around 1500. Felt like onions were getting chopped everywhere, ultimately wore a mask inside my house! Welcome Chernobyl season 2! #DelhiAirEmergency #DelhiAirQuality #DelhiBachao pic.twitter.com/jJ2yrC7sAZ— Rimjhim Thakur (@RimjhimThakur) November 4, 2019
Just returned from Delhi. The scene was out of an apocalyptic movie. Smog everywhere. Trouble breathing, eyes burning. Almost looked like the future if we continue on this path of self destruction. #ClimateEmergency #DelhiAirEmergency #DelhiPollution— Abhay (@abhaybora) November 3, 2019
Delhi-NCR this morning. Can't escape the burning smell even inside the home. No visibility. Buildings in the front have disappeared. This is collective death sentence. #DelhiAirEmergency pic.twitter.com/UzYXjRk8Dz— Abhinav Prakash (@Abhina_Prakash) November 3, 2019
Another picture making the rounds on social media, which looks similar to freshly fallen snow, is actually meters-high toxic foam floating on the Yamuna river. The women celebrated the Chhath festival on Sunday by standing on the banks of the Yamuna river, considered sacred in Hinduism, to offer prayers.
On a lighter note, several puny netizens employed funny memes to joke about the critical condition of Delhi.
Meanwhile, cases of people suffering from severe respiratory distress were admitted to the hospitals of Delhi.
"On Saturday, we received a patient in casualty with severe respiratory distress. We gave him nebuliser and then also his condition did not improve. We also shifted him to the respiratory division ward but there was still no relief. Lately, we shifted him to the ICU and put him on the ventilator. So, this is the situation of air quality in Delhi and we all are gasping to breathe," said senior surgeon Arvind Kumar, Chairman of Chest Surgery Department at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
The environmental condition in India is traditionally poor. According to a Greenpeace and AirVisual analysis of air pollution, issued in March, 22 out of 30 cities with the worst air pollution are located in India. Gurugram, which lies some 20 miles southwest of Delhi, was named the worst polluted city in the world, while New Delhi is the worst polluted capital.
One of the worst disasters recorded in the history of nuclear power generation, the explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant caused the largest uncontrolled radioactive release into the environment. Several explosions triggered a huge fireball, blowing up the heavy steel and concrete lid of the reactor. Several thousand people were evacuated from affected areas of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine.
The control room of the reactor 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was recently opened for tourists. The visitors are allowed for a brief time of five minutes inside the radioactive control room, but they have to wear protective equipment including suits, helmets and masks.