Thick Smog Chokes Kathmandu, Schools Close

Thick smog triggered by forest fires in Nepal has enveloped Kathmandu which forced schools to close and flights to be delayed.

The Nepalese Meteorological Department said that the smog came from forest fires mixed with dust and expected it to remain in the region for several days. 

Kathmandu valley residents have reported experiencing eye irritation and difficulty in breathing because of the smog. 

“It has been decided that educational institutions will be closed until Friday. As far as we are aware, this is the first time schools have been closed because of pollution,” said Nepalese Ministry of Education spokesman Deepak Sharma.

Last weekend, Kathmandu’s air quality index (AQI) readings read above 300 and prompted the Nepalese government to urge people to stay indoors. 

After visibility dropped to 1,000 meters, domestic as well as international flights were canceled at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA.)

“Air services at TIA have been affected due to the low visibility owing to the smog. Some aircraft were forced to hold for two hours on the air due to the low visibility on Saturday,” announced the airport.

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