Himalayas visible from India for the first time in 30 years

People in the northern Indian state of Punjab shared in the social media on Friday impressive images of the snow-capped Himalayan mountain range, which is now visible from more than 200 kilometres away due to the reduction in air pollution caused by the country's coronavirus lockdown.

Indians in the city of Jalandhar and the surrounding area have posted photos online of the views from their homes, with some saying they haven't seen the peaks of the Himalayas for decades, almost 30 years, CNN reported. The phenomenon is made possible by a dramatic improvement in air quality in recent weeks, after industries shut down, cars came off the road and airlines canceled flights in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

India is home to 21 of the 30 worst polluted urban areas in the world, according to the 2019 World Air Quality Report, with six in the top ten.

The country has been in lockdown for more than two weeks, with PM Narendra Modi ordering "a total ban on venturing out of your homes."Only essential services have been operational, including water, electricity, health and fire services, groceries stores and municipal services. All other shops, commercial establishments, factories, workshops, offices, markets and places of worship have been closed and interstate buses and metros were be suspended.

The country has reported nearly 6,000 cases of Covid-19, and 178 deaths, according to figures from the Johns Hopkins University.

While the famous mountain range is more visible than in recent memory, it is also more deserted. Many of its mountains have been closed to climbers for nearly a month, with both the Nepalese and Chinese sides of Mount Everest shutting down in early March.

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