Delhi Grapples with Chilling Fog: Over 110 Flights Affected, Roads Disrupted

Delhi woke up to a misty morning on December 27 as a thick layer of fog settled over the city, maintaining the cold wave’s grip on northern India. Citizens navigated a hazy landscape, leading to low visibility and significant disruptions in traffic. With the temperature hovering around 7 degrees Celsius, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued alerts for dense to very dense fog in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and other states from December 27 to 29.

Transportation Woes: Trains and Flights Hit Hard

The dense fog not only posed challenges for commuters on the road but also wreaked havoc on the transportation network. Over 25 trains, both arrivals and departures, faced delays, while 110 flights, a mix of domestic and international, experienced disruptions at the Delhi Airport. The Flight Information Display System (FIDS) reported delays in 28 international departures, 15 international arrivals, 42 domestic departures, and 25 domestic arrivals.

Airport Operations: CAT III Compliance Critical

The Delhi Airport Authority issued an advisory stating that while landings and takeoffs continue, flights not compliant with CAT III (category III) standards may encounter disruptions. CAT III refers to an Instrument Landing System that allows flights to operate in low visibility conditions caused by fog, snow, or rain. The advisory urged passengers to stay informed by contacting their respective airlines for updated flight information.

Visibility Plummets: Impact on Health and Transportation

As the fog blanketed Delhi, visibility dropped to alarming levels. At 7 am, Delhi (Palam) Airport and Safdarjung reported a mere 50 meters of visibility, as per the IMD. Visuals from key locations such as Indira Gandhi International Airport, Dhaula Kuan, India Gate, Barapullah, and the Delhi-Noida border depicted the city engulfed in dense fog. The plummeting visibility raised concerns not only for commuters but also for the health of the residents.

Health Advisory: IMD Warns of Potential Health Impacts

The weather department issued a health warning, cautioning residents about potential health impacts due to the dense fog. IMD stated, “Dense fog contains particulate matter and other pollutants, and in case exposed, it gets lodged in the lungs, clogging them and decreasing their functional capacity, which increases episodes of wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.”

Collisions Reported: Road Safety Concerns

As the roads remained obscured by the dense fog, several collisions were reported across Uttar Pradesh. Tragically, one person lost their life, and 12 others sustained injuries in a multi-vehicle collision on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway. In Bareilly, a speeding truck collided with a house near the Bareilly-Sultanpur highway.

Weather Outlook: More Fog, Worsening Air Quality

The IMD predicted “dense to very dense fog conditions” over Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh. In Delhi, the Safdarjung Observatory recorded a visibility level of 50 meters, dropping to just 25 meters at the Safdarjung Observatory near the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The air quality in the city also experienced a sharp decline, with an average Air Quality Index (AQI) of 381, categorized as “very poor.”

Navigating the Foggy Challenge

As Delhi grapples with the challenges posed by this dense fog, commuters, airlines, and authorities are urged to remain vigilant. The ongoing disruptions in transportation and the decline in air quality underscore the need for proactive measures and public cooperation to navigate through this weather challenge. With the forecast indicating a further reduction in air quality, residents are advised to take necessary precautions and stay updated on travel advisories to ensure a safe and healthy winter in the capital.

Read More: Delhi’s Green Renaissance: MCD Triples Tree Ambulance Fleet to Tackle Urban Tree Health Crisis

Andrew s

Andrew has been in the online publishing industry. After receiving his degree in professional journalism from the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, he contributed to multiple websites as a freelance writer and feature editor. Mostly, Andrew tackles controversies and theories that lead to a specific conclusion that either debunk or justify a particular claim. Further, Andrew participates in social developments that aim to simplify every individual's way of life and fight for peace. He is the new Editor-in-Chief of Pressroom Today.

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