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October 23, 2012

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Heavy fog, mist disrupt flights, water transport

THE heavy fog and mist that enveloped the city yesterday disrupted air, water and road transportation, causing cancellations, delays and triggering traffic restrictions over safety concerns.

More than 30 flights were canceled and 46 were delayed at Pudong and Hongqiao international airports yesterday because of heavy rainstorms in the morning and fog in the afternoon.

A wide range of delays occurred about 7:30am yesterday at Hongqiao airport as only half of the 10 planned flights were able to take off. A flight to Nanning in southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region was delayed for over two hours, according to the Shanghai Airport Authority.

At Pudong airport, 16 flights were cancelled and another five were delayed because of the storm.

The flight schedule returned to normal around noon as the rain stopped, but the airports were hit by delays again in the afternoon amid heavy fog.

The airport operator said there was a congestion as planes lined up on the Hongqiao airport tarmac waiting to take off. Only about 40 percent flights at the airport could leave on schedule.

Eight flights, mainly to or from north China cities, had been cancelled and 50 flights delayed as of 7pm yesterday.

The cargo transport via water and ferry services suffered due to the low visibility at the mouth of Yangtze River. The local maritime administration imposed voyage restrictions on the main water channels at the mouth area and nearby sea as the visibility was only 500 to 1,000 meters. The restrictions were lifted late in the afternoon.

Ferries to the city's three islands were halted in the morning but gradually resumed in the afternoon, officials said. Downtown ferry services along the Huangpu River were not affected.

Severe congestion

Downtown traffic suffered severe congestion during the morning hours, with roads blocked and vehicles moving at a snail's pace. Several vehicles crashed on the slippery roads, made wet by the morning rain, police said.

In once incident, a woman riding a moped was knocked down by a car in suburban Jiading District yesterday morning. She broke her left leg.


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