200 Shanghai flights hit by fog

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2008, 12:00am

Dense fog which blanketed Shanghai on Sunday evening affected nearly 200 flights and 300 long-distance bus journeys, and caused serious road congestion on the first working day after the Ching Ming holiday.

The city issued its first yellow fog alert of the year at 9.21pm on Sunday and raised it to orange at 11pm, with visibility dropping to 50 metres in suburban areas such as Pudong, Chongming and Fengxian, the meteorological bureau said. The fog began to disperse at about 8am yesterday.

About 150 of the 200 affected flights yesterday were domestic. Most were delayed and a few cancelled, Xinhua reported.

A spokeswoman for the Shanghai Airport Authority said that at Pudong airport, 58 flights were diverted to other airports, 21 of which went to Hongqiao airport. At Hongqiao, three flights were diverted and 14 cancelled.

'But after 9am, all the flights gradually returned to normal,' she said.

More than 300 long-distance buses to Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces were cancelled or delayed yesterday morning, but all journeys resumed after 10am.

'Most of the buses affected were departing from or arriving at Nantong, Jiangsu province, because passengers were on ferries that were halted due to the fog. A bridge linking Suzhou and Nantong is scheduled to be opened for traffic soon,' said Zhang Yongbin, the head of the Shanghai Long-Distance Central Bus Station.

Removal work continued on Shanghai's century-old Waibaidu steel bridge yesterday. The northern section was transferred to a barge despite fog that lingered at the Huangpu riverside, the Shanghai Evening Post reported. The southern section was removed on Sunday.

The bridge is being removed for repairs ahead of the 2010 World Expo.