LAHORE: Two weeks of thick toxic smog has disrupted normal life in parts of Pakistan, with flights canceled, road accidents surging and nearly 15,000 people being hospitalized in and around Lahore, officials said on Friday.
Meteorologists say the pollution surge was triggered by vehicle exhaust fumes, dust and illegal burning of crops.
Limited visibility has caused over 250 road accidents, killing 14 people and injuring more than 400, said Jam Sajjad Hussain, a government rescue service official.
Levels of Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) have been touching 500mg per cubic meter in the last several days in parts of Pakistan where the normal upper limit is 150mg, said environment ministry spokesman Naseem-ur-Rehman Shah.
The particles, if inhaled deep into the lungs, can cause heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer, severe allergies and respiratory diseases.
Authorities have advised people in the smog hit areas to avoid unnecessary travel, stay indoors as much possible and keep children away from the toxic air. —Reuters