The Himalayas are visible from India for the first time in 30 years because of Covid-19 lockdown
The distance between the Indian state of Punjab and the Himalayan Moutain Range is just shy of 200 kilometres. And now for the first time in almost 30 years, residents in the north western state of India can actually see the world's tallest moutain range.
One of the reasons for this is the decreasing air pollution levels in the country because of the coronavirus lockdowns imposed for the last month.
A report released by the country’s Central Pollution Control Board late last month said the nationwide curfew implemented on March 22 and the subsequent lockdown ordered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi two days later “resulted in significant improvement in air quality in the country, as revealed by data analysis and comparison of data for time before enforcement of restrictions.”
What nature really is and how we screwed it up.
This is Dhauladhar mountain range of Himachal, visible after 30 yrs, from Jalandhar (Punjab) after pollution drops to its lowest level. This is approx. 200 km away straight. #Lockdown21 #MotherNature #Global healing. pic.twitter.com/cvZqbWd6MR— Soul of a Warrior (@Deewalia) April 3, 2020
While people have been questioning the veracity of the statement that the mountains haven't been seen from Punjab in 30 years, the truth is that residents have never seen anything like this for decades.
Pollution has been a major issue for residents of India in the last few years, with cities from the south Asian country regularly topping the "most polluted cities in the world" list year after year. India topped the charts in 2019 of the worst polluted as home to 14 of the 20 cities with the most hazardous air.
In November 2019, a public health emergency was declared after the air quality index (AQI) level exceeded 800 in certain parts of New Delhi, which was more than three times the "hazardous" level.
However six months later amid a global pandemic, there is an upside to life under lockdown:
Some good news in all this craziness:
"As the lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus continues, pollution levels across much of India have dropped sharply. Now some residents in the north say they can see the Himalayas 200 kilometres away for the first time in 30 years." pic.twitter.com/KcbrMFQsN0— Trail magazine (@TrailMagazine) April 8, 2020
Never seen Dhauladar range from my home rooftop in Jalandhar..never could imagine that’s possible..clear indication of the impact the pollution has done by us to Mother Earth .. this is the view pic.twitter.com/laRzP8QsZ9— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) April 3, 2020
But it's not just India. China, Italy and the Middle East have all reported falling air pollution levels.
Satellite images have revealed a massive fall in global nitrogen dioxide levels. Don't believe us? Well, images by the US space agency NASA are clear indicator of decreasing NO2 levels. In February the concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) fell drastically in Wuhan, China, coinciding with the lockdown of the city which is the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nature seems to be making the most of humans in lockdown as dolphins were spotted swimming by the port of Cagliari, which is the capital city of the Italian island of Sardinia and Venice canals had clear, clear water and full of fishes.
So while we're still grappling to contain this virus, here's your daily dose of good news.