A thick fog on the first day of the new year threw travel plans of hundreds of fliers into disarray at the Delhi airport as flights could not land or take off for several hours. Most of the northwestern plains are in its grip.
Delhi got off to a misty start on Day 1 of the New Year as a blanket of fog descended, forcing delay of 400 trains and 500 flights. Five domestic and seven worldwide flights were delayed due to the fog whereas one flight has been cancelled.
The minimum temperature was recorded at 5.7 degrees Celsius, a notch below the season's average. The visibility later improved to 100 metres at 3 a.m. and to 200 metres at 6 a.m.
The flight operations at the airport were halted for about five hours. No flights could take off between 7.30 am and 11.05 am. Take-offs from the IGI Airport require a minimum visibility range of 125 metres.
The drop in visibility levels forced authorities at the IGI airport to put in place CAT III B procedures which allows aircraft to land even under 50-metre visibility, an IGI official said.
56 trains headed towards the capital are late and 20 have been rescheduled. Some 15 were cancelled. The maximum temperature was likely to hover around 23 degrees Celsius, an India Meteorological Department official said.
Tuesday began on a very cold note for Delhi-NCR people with a dense fog covering the sky in the entire region.
Many took to Twitter to share pictures of their areas covered by the blinding fog as the hashtag #delhifog was among the most trending topics on the microblogging site.
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