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December 2, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Traffic warning as fog continues to cause chaos

FOG should continue to affect Shanghai traffic during the night and early mornings over the next few days, weather forecasters said yesterday.

Shanghai Meteorological Bureau issued a yellow fog alert, lowest of the three-level system, warning that coastal areas of the city would suffer visibility below 500 meters.

Fog severely disrupted traffic on Tuesday night, blocking almost every highway connecting with other provinces.

Similar weather should occur after the arrival of a cold front tomorrow, said Fu Yi, a chief service officer of the bureau.

"The fog was mainly caused by radiation and the temperature dropping," Fu said. "After the rain, the air was wet and the sky turned clear at night, which was good for the radiation."

The bureau said temperatures could drop to 8 degrees Celsius tomorrow and on Saturday as a result of the cold front.

City traffic gradually got back to normal yesterday morning after Tuesday's fog, which also grounded flights and affected ferry services.

The bureau lifted its orange fog alert, the second of the three-level system at 10:30am.

But traffic problems continued for some time as fog-related pileups were dealt with.

Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport was forced to close from 10:30pm on Tuesday to 8:45am yesterday, with 29 flights cancelled and 23 other flights directed to land at airports in Zhejiang Province.

At Pudong International Airport no flights landed or took off from 1am to 9:27am yesterday. Nine flights were cancelled while 41 others landed at airports in Zhejiang.

All morning ferry services to the city's three islands were cancelled. Visibility in Chongming Island was down to 70 meters while in some areas at the mouth of the Yangtze River visibility was less than 50 meters. Two ferry routes along the Huangpu River were also shut. The ferries resumed in the afternoon.

The maritime authority guided more than 200 international and domestic vessels to harbor or to leave city ports before the fog closed in.

The expressways had reopened by 10:13am yesterday but there were long queues of vehicles waiting to pass the tolls.

However, just as the fog alert was lifted, three trucks crashed on the S32 Expressway and four people were injured, two seriously.

Long-distance bus services suffered with nearly 800 services cancelled or delayed. Services to neighboring Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces were among the most affected.

Many passengers turned to the railways instead.


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