Some in India see Himalayas for first time in decades as air pollution drops

(Image Courtesy: KVUE)

PUNJAB, India (KVUE) — People in India are under a nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic, but some are awestruck by what they're finally seeing outside their homes.

Some in the northern state of Punjab are posting photos online of the Himalayas -- a mountain range some say they haven't been able to see in decades because of air pollution.

The mountain range is about 1,400 miles long and includes Mount Everest, the world's highest peak at 29,035 feet.

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According to ABC in Australia, data from India's Central Pollution Control Board showed a "significant improvement in air quality in the country." The report states 85 cities have improved air quality since the lockdown was implemented on March 22.

CNN said India's is the world's largest lockdown and brought 1.3 billion people to a halt. All factories, stores, markets and places of worship have been closed. And, roads have been largely empty of cars.

According to the report, Delhi saw a nearly 44 percent reduction in PM10 (harmful microscopic particulate matter) air pollution on the day restrictions took place.

"I have not seen such blue skies in Delhi for the past 10 years," Care for Air co-founder Jyoti Pande Lavakare said to CNN. "It is a silver lining in terms of this awful crisis that we can step outside and breathe."