The Himalayas Are Now Visible For the First Time in Nearly 30 Years, Thanks to Clean Air From Lockdown

What a difference a lockdown makes.

As the rest of the world struggles to slow down the coronavirus pandemic, countries have issued lockdowns in major cities to protect their citizens. India is no different.

On March 24, the government issued a lockdown that effectively closed markets, shopping malls, and factories, and suspended public transportation. Citizens are required to stay at home and practice social distancing. Weeks later, the lockdown is taking effect not only through battling the virus but also in improving environmental conditions.

Major cities across India, once dubbed as some of the most polluted cities in the world, have reported improvement in air quality. After pollutants released by vehicles and power plants decreased, just like what happened in the Philippines, the air became noticeably cleaner.

Perhaps the most pleasantly surprising effect of the lockdown for India is that the air is so clear that parts of the Himalayan Mountain Range became visible to the naked eye.

Just last week, the people of Jalandhar in Punjab, on the northern region of India, had the privilege to wake up to the marvelous, clear view of the Himalayas’ Dhauladhar range. The snow-capped mountains are more than 200km away. People claim that this is the first time in almost 30 years that the mountain range became visible from that far.

Photos of the Dhauldhar range from different vantage points were posted on social media.

With a few more weeks of quarantine left for different cities around the world. One can’t help but wonder if other marvels await us as the air pollution levels continue to decrease. At this point, it’s just safe to say that Earth is truly getting its much-needed rest alongside the quarantined people.

 

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