Smoke ( Representative picture )
Smoke from a dumping yard at Mumbai has overwhelmed the island cityReuters

Fears are riding high as a thick layer of smoke from a fire that broke out at a Mumbai's dumping ground continue to engulf parts of the city for the third consecutive day. Deonar, where the fire broke out, is the worst hit area and is one of the biggest dumping grounds in Mumbai.

The incident has forced the officials to close down around 78 schools in Mumbai.
Images taken by Nasa's satellites between January 27 to January 29 shows how a thick blanket of smoke has engulfed not only Mumbai but is also seen spreading deeper into the Arabian Sea.

The images also show the smoke has affected the coastal areas of Maharashtra, the central part of India. The maximum temperature recorded on 28 January at Santacruz was 28.8C, while the minimum was 14C. The maximum temperature recorded at Colaba was 26.6C and the minimum 18.5C.

Dr Ritesh Gautam, Assistant Professor at the Centre of Studies in Resources Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay said "The images were taken at 1.30pm on all three days and it clearly shows how on January 27 the skies are clear. Then on January 28, the fire starts and the smoke has blanketed much of Mumbai. And by the next day it has spread further into the sea."

Because of it, the air quality in Mumbai will continue to remain between 'poor' and 'very poor' in the coming days, Dr Gautam added.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has also directed the local self-government authorities to act immediately.