China closes many highways due to thick fog

Last Updated: Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 16:53

Beijing: Heavy fog has hit most parts of north China forcing dozens of expressway to shut down amid a rush of millions of holidayers returning home after week-long celebrations marking the country`s national day.

In Beijing, heavy smog prevailed for the second day today and visibility was under 1,000 meters. Traffic police have shut down six inter-provincial expressways, including roads linking the capital with Harbin in the northeast, financial hub Shanghai in the east, along with Tianjin and Hebei Province in the north.

Beijing`s international Airport reported visibility averaging 250 to 500 meters today morning. Thirteen flights have been cancelled so far, while 29 incoming flights landed at airports in neighbouring cities and five forced to return.

However, airport authorities said 159 departing flights have taken off this morning, 56 per cent of planned takeoffs.

Meanwhile, authorities in Tianjin said they have closed down all 14 expressways in the northern municipality amid heavy fog, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
In the neighbouring Hebei Province, 13 expressways have been closed until visibility improves. Foggy weather has also affected most parts of northeastern Liaoning Province with 15 expressways shut down.

In the industrial city of Anshan, visibility was under 50 meters in some areas and many travellers were forced to postpone their trips.

Today is the sixth day of the week-long holiday, known as `Golden Week`, marking China`s National Day, with large crowds of holidaymakers heading home.

Over 460 million people all over China?travelled in the last few days availing rail, road and air networks. The foggy weather has caused more chaos on expressways, which were already under heavy pressure.

First Published: Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 16:53
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