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May 16, 2013

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Foggy weather delays flights in Pudong

SOME 5,000 passengers were left stranded at the Pudong International Airport yesterday after more than 100 flights were delayed or cancelled due to poor visibility.

The earliest flight delay at the Pudong airport was reported at 3:15am yesterday.

The situation had not changed until 7pm yesterday, authorities said.

The vertical visibility was reduced to only 30 meters last night and the airport was forced to come up with an emergency plan to allow pilots, who had received special training, to take off and land in the bad weather, the airport said.

About 50 outbound flights and 74 inbound flights were delayed while 60 others had to be diverted to airports in neighboring cities.

At least 34 flights had to be rerouted to Hongqiao airport.

"The low-cloud cover is expected to end this morning, and the airport authority will operate overnight to try and send all the stranded passengers to their destinations," an airport official said yesterday.

Today's flights in Pudong are unlikely to be hit but passengers were being advised to check with their airlines before going to the airport, the official added.

The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said the low cloud weather was caused by the increase of clouds and a trough of low pressure and could possibly reoccur today and tomorrow.

"The cloud system is pretty complicated these days and the weather will continue to be cloudy but it was unclear whether the influence would be as big as today," Man Liping, city's chief weather woman said.

"The visibility is okay in urban areas but it could be low in parts of Pudong."


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