Dense fog turns Shanghai into 'heavenly' watercolour paintings

Skyscrapers Oriental Pearl Tower and Jin Mao Tower (left) are seen from the Shanghai World Financial Centre on Jan 16, 2018.
Skyscrapers Oriental Pearl Tower and Jin Mao Tower (left) are seen from the Shanghai World Financial Centre on Jan 16, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS
Workers clean the exterior of Shanghai World Financial Centre on a hazy day.
Workers clean the exterior of Shanghai World Financial Centre on a hazy day.PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A dense fog engulfed Shanghai on Tuesday (Jan 16) 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-dropped 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, according to the Shanghai Airport Authority. Takeoffs and landings resumed in the afternoon as visibility increased.

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

Cross-river 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 drizzle on Monday night that increased the humidity in the air, said the city weather bureau, adding that another fog is expected on Wednesday (Jan 17) morning.

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