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Karachi

January 10, 2015

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Heavy fog disrupts transport system

Karachi
Flight operations at the Jinnah International Airport remained suspended for hours due to poor visibility in the wee hours of Friday as a heavy fog descended over the city and created problems for air and road commuters.
A heavy fog descended over the city shortly around 2am and lasted for several hours and around 15 international and domestic flights were diverted or delayed. Though flight operations resumed after 10am, a number of flights were rescheduled again by Friday evening.
According to airport Civic Aviation Authority officials, at once stage in the night the visibility even reduced to zero after which all incoming flights had to be diverted while the departures of scheduled flights had to be delayed.
Officials said initially the visibility was around 100 metres but reduced to 50 metres pretty soon with the humidity level reaching 95 percent.
According to CAA official Pervez George, air around the airport began getting hazy around 2:30am on Friday after which the flight 331 of Fly Dubai, flight 221 of Eithad Airway coming from Sharjah, flight 604 of Emirates coming from Dubai were asked to return.
Pakistan International Airline flight PK-732 arriving from Jeddah and Turkish Airline flight 708 coming from Islamabad to Karachi were both diverted to Muscat and was also diverted due to extremely low visibility.
Moreover, the departure of flight 611 of Emirates for Dubai was also delayed for several hours and was able to leave the airport around 10am. Other affected flights included Air Indus flight 301, and Pakistan International Airline’s PK-781, 352, 157, 729, 207, 300, besides special flights 7051 and 7053, said George.
Meanwhile, according to the national flag carrier’s public affairs department, by Friday evening several flights were still waiting for departure.
People driving in the city during the night also witnessed the heavy fog. Taha Asad had been returning from work around 3am said he had to drive

really slow, especially near the Baloch flyover, because he couldn’t see the road or any other traffic.
Musadiz Aziz had been sitting with his friends at roadside restaurant near Safoora roundabout when his friend pointed out that the fog was thicker than usual. “Since the main University Road was almost empty we decided to take some pictures but mobile cameras were unable to capture any image because it was too dark and the fog was too thick,” he said. “Later when we left to drop one of my friends to Nazimabad, it was difficult to drive due to poor visibility.”
The fog began to lift after 8am on Friday morning after which both vehicular and road traffic resumed normal activity.
Talking to The News, met officials said fog was a regular phenomena in winters but usually did not reduce this much in Karachi.
He explained that whenever ground temperature decreased and earth became cool simultaneously, the cold air present in the atmosphere became dense and produced fog.
According to him, reduction of visibility below 100 metres or more usually happened in open spaces or in places where there was less vehicular movement, smoke-emitting engines, factories and other establishments. There is usually less fog in densely-populated areas.

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