New Delhi: A heavy blanket of fog engulfed the national capital Friday night and continued into the early hours of Saturday, wreaking havoc on flight and train schedules. At least 45 flights were affected and as many as 120 trains were running late, officials said.
"The general visibility was zero for many hours early in the morning. It eased by 9.00 am and was recorded little less than 100 metres," an India Meteorological Department official said.
The fog triggered chaos at the airport as well as at the three major railway stations. Commuters were left stranded at airport lounges and railway platforms.
The runway visibility was very poor in the early hours so no flight could take off or land till around 8.00 am. The visibility then improved and low visibility procedures requiring 150 metres visibility could be enforced, an Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) official said.
"The dense fog badly affected air traffic last night and till early morning. Now some flights are taking off as fog has cleared a bit," the official said mid-morning.
Nine domestic arrivals and 22 domestic departures were delayed and one flight was cancelled, the IGIA website said. Eight international departures and 16 arrivals were running late, some delayed by over eight hours.
The fog took a toll on railway services as well with about 120 trains running late.
"The fog since last night all around Delhi has badly affected trains. Around 43 trains have been rescheduled, 120 trains are running late by three hours or more. Some are delayed by over 24 hours. Around 45 routes have also been cancelled due to weather conditions," a Northern Railways official said.