Dense fog shrouds Shanghai, flights diverted

Shanghai's Oriental Pearl Tower is barely visible in the distance while only the top of the 88-storey Jinmao Tower is seen peeking out of the thick blanket of fog in this photo taken from the Shanghai World Financial Centre on Tuesday morning. The Ch
Shanghai's Oriental Pearl Tower is barely visible in the distance while only the top of the 88-storey Jinmao Tower is seen peeking out of the thick blanket of fog in this photo taken from the Shanghai World Financial Centre on Tuesday morning. The Chinese city was experiencing unusually misty conditions due to increased humidity from a drizzle the night before.PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI • A dense fog shrouded Shanghai on Tuesday morning, affecting road, water and air traffic while at the same time transforming the city into a "heavenly world" as depicted in traditional Chinese watercolour paintings.

The fog started to set in early in the morning. At 5.46am, the Shanghai Meteorological Service upgraded the fog warning from yellow to orange, the second-highest in a three-level system when visibility in the city's six districts fell below 200m. The warning was cleared by 11.35am.

In its densest moment, the view from the Huangpu River resembled that of a Chinese water town found in typical traditional Chinese watercolour paintings, with the city's modern skyline largely blurred by the misty veil.

The only few remaining visible included the soaring tips of the city's three tallest buildings: Jinmao Tower, Shanghai Tower and Shanghai World Financial Centre.

Due to the heavy fog, about 40 outbound flights were cancelled at the city's Pudong and Hongqiao international airports. More than 50 flights scheduled to land at the two airports were diverted to neighbouring cities, the Shanghai Airport Authority said. Takeoffs and landings resumed in the afternoon as visibility increased.

City traffic remained in good order as the traffic authority put up speed limits on major expressways and deployed 40 per cent more traffic police than usual, according to local news portal Eastday.

Ferries were suspended while emergency lanes were opened on a bridge and a tunnel for bikes and mopeds to cross the Huangpu River.

The fog was caused by a drizzle on Monday night that increased the humidity in the air, said the city's weather bureau.

Despite the fog, Shanghai's air quality on Tuesday morning was good, with PM2.5 staying below 50.

CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 18, 2018, with the headline 'Dense fog shrouds Shanghai, flights diverted'. Print Edition | Subscribe