Air quality in parts of Kochi was found to be poor on Sunday morning due to the Brahmapuram waste plant fire that continued to smoulder even as the Kerala government was making all possible efforts to extinguish the three-day long blaze.
According to police, since 7 AM there were 25 fire-fighting units, which included tenders from Thrissur, Kottayam and Idukki districts as well as those of the Indian Navy and Bharat Petroleum, battling the blaze and more are expected to arrive there.
”The fire is under control now. Hopefully it would be extinguished by evening,” a senior police officer of the area said.
However, as the fire continues to burn on, the harmful smoke generated by it polluted the air quality of the areas surrounding the plant as well as parts of the port-city.
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According to the data on the Kerala Polliution Control Board website, the PM 2.5 and PM 10 particulates’ level in the air in Kochi were way above the prescribed standards.
The level of PM 2.5, tiny particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter that can enter deep into the lungs and even the bloodstream, was found to be 279.58 ug/m3, at around 8.30 AM today, as against the normal standard of 60.
PM 10, particles with diameter less than 10 micrometres, level were recorded at 324.65 as against a normal of 100.
With parts of the city engulfed in smoke due to the fire, the state government had advised everyone to stay indoors on Sunday as a precaution.
The decision was taken pursuant to a high level meeting, chaired by the Kerala Chief Secretary, of senior officers of the state government and other state and central agencies on the ongoing Brahmapuram fire incident.
The fire broke out in the waste dumped at the plant on Thursday.
Officials said such incidents happen every year around this time due to the extreme heat.