Initially viewed as a mild irritant, by mid-week its debilitating effects were evident to all, as the city struggled to adapt to the new eerie, martian-like conditions brought about by the pollution.
With visibility severely reduced, trains have been canceled, planes delayed and cars have piled into each other, with multiple traffic accidents reported across the city.
But as the city woke up Friday to a fourth straight day of heavy pollution, practical considerations were being overtaken by more serious concerns, with journalists and doctors warning residents of the long-term health implications.
Air quality readings in the Indian capital have reached frightening levels in recent days, at one point topping the 1,000 mark on the US embassy air quality index. The World Health Organization considers anything above 25 to be unsafe.
That measure is based on the concentration of fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, per cubic meter. The microscopic particles, which are …
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