30 Trains Delayed, 4 Flights Cancelled & 16 Diverted as Dense Fog Envelops Delhi; Air Quality Dips

30 Trains Delayed, 4 Flights Cancelled & 16 Diverted as Dense Fog Envelops Delhi; Air Quality Dips

New Delhi, December 30, 2019: Delhi and its adjoining areas woke up to a thick blanket of fog this morning that hit road, rail and air traffic and led to the loss of six lives. Six persons, two of them children, were drowned as a car ran into a canal in Greater Noida near Delhi, presumably because of the fog, officials said. At least 16 Delhi-bound planes had to be diverted, eight got delayed and four were cancelled. Around 30 trains are running late.

The temperature in the national capital this morning fell to 2.6 from 2.8 degree Celsius on Sunday, lower than Shimla's 3 degree Celsius.

Thirty trains are running late due to low visibility. At least 50 flights have also been delayed even though authorities earlier said no flights have been cancelled. The airport authorities have asked the air passengers to contact their respective airlines for flight updates. Flights are operating at the airport under CAT III B conditions, which means that the runway visual range (RVR) is between 50 metres and 175 metres.

Traffic jam was also reported from DND (Delhi Noida Direct) due to low visibility.

The minimum temperature settled at 2.6 degrees Celsius at the Safdarjung observatory, four notches below the season's average, and humidity was 100 per cent.

The minimum temperature at Palam was recorded at 2.9 degrees Celsius, Lodhi Road at 2.2 degrees Celsius while at Ayanagar it was recorded at 2.5 degrees Celsius

Delhi's air quality index was in the severe category at 450 at 8.38 am.

The visibility recorded by the Safdarjung and Palam observatories stood at zero metres at 8.30 am. It was recorded at 100 metres at Safdarjung and zero at Palam at 5.30 am.

Since December 14, the national capital has been experiencing "severe cold days" with the average minimum temperature on Sunday morning being recorded at 3.4 degrees Celsius, four notches below what is considered normal for this time of the year.

The mean temperature for December 2019 till Sunday was 19.07 degrees Celsius and it is "most likely to become second coldest December since 1901", behind 17.3 degrees Celsius in December 1997, the Met department said.

Humidity levels oscillated between 64 per cent to 100 per cent, it added.

For Monday, the weatherman had predicted dense fog in the morning with cold day at a few places in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR).

A significant increase in wind speed is also expected over Delhi-NCR from Tuesday evening under influence of approaching western disturbance and easterly winds in lower level, the department said.

Meanwhile, the schools in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow and Agra will remain closed on December 30 and 31 due to the cold wave conditions.

(With PTI inputs)