Widespread Fog Paralyzes Multiple Chinese Provinces, Disrupting Transportation

Thu Jan 04 2024
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BEIJING: A thick blanket of extremely heavy fog descended upon several Chinese provinces on Thursday, causing dangerously low visibility and leading to the closure of highways, flight delays out of Shanghai, and a series of warnings from weather forecasters.

The affected provinces, including Shandong, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, and Fujian, experienced visibility dropping below 200 meters (656 feet). In some areas of southern Jiangsu and southern Anhui, visibility plummeted below 50 meters, as reported by China’s National Meteorological Centre.

The Central Meteorological Observatory responded to the challenging weather conditions by issuing yellow and orange warnings for heavy fog until 7:45 a.m. (2345 GMT). Weather forecasters predict lingering haze in many areas heading into Friday, underscoring the persistence of adverse weather conditions.

In certain regions of Anhui, red warnings for heavy fog, the most severe advisory level, were issued, leading to the temporary closure of numerous highways, according to state media broadcaster CCTV news. Nanjing, the capital of China’s eastern Jiangsu province, experienced severe fog in several areas, causing disruptions in public transportation, as reported by CCTV.

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China employs a three-tier color-coded warning system for thick fog, with red indicating the most serious conditions, followed by orange and yellow. The widespread fog not only impacted ground transportation but also significantly affected air travel.

Dozens of scheduled flights out of Shanghai Pudong International Airport faced delays or diversions over the last three hours, according to FlightView.com’s flight tracking app. The disruptions underscore the challenges faced by travelers and authorities alike in navigating the adverse weather conditions, emphasizing the need for contingency plans and heightened awareness during such weather events.

As the fog-related disruptions persist, it highlights the importance of robust communication and coordination among various sectors to mitigate the impact on daily life and ensure public safety. The incident serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of weather patterns and the need for preparedness measures to address the potential consequences of extreme weather events.

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