Thick fog disrupts operations at Bengaluru Airport, 35 flights delayed

Bengaluru: 35 flights departing from Bengaluru and 13 coming into the city were delayed on Saturday morning as thick fog lowered visibility.

Moreover, two flights were diverted to Chennai.

Operations at the Kempegowda International Airport were suspended from 6:30 am to 7:30 am on Friday, while visibility standby was declared at 5:31 AM this morning. Airport officials said this was lifted at 8:38 AM.

The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre has predicted that the minimum and maximum temperatures of Bengaluru on Saturday will hover at 18 Degree Celsius and 28 Degree Celsius. The sky will be partly sunny and cloudy.

Apart from Bengaluru, a number of cities are witnessing thick fog with the onset of winter.

The national capital- Delhi and its surrounding states such as Punjab and Haryana located in the northern part of the country is also battling with the winter chill due to the flowing of northwesterly winds.

According to the Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, on Friday, the minimum temperature of Delhi dropped to 4.7 degrees Celsius which was three notches below the season’s normal.

Apart from chilly nights, people residing in the national capital are also battling with the toxic air. On Saturday, the overall air quality of the region was docking at 401 at 11:00 am which falls in the ‘hazardous’ category.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) and SAFAR both have predicted moderate fog to engulf Delhi in next couple of days which is likely to help both gaseous and particulate pollutants (PM2.5 and PM10) to “stagnate near the surface”.

“Shallow to moderate fog is likely to cover the plains of northwest India over the weekend,” the IMD said.

It also added that the ground frost and cold wave conditions are likely to prevail over Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, west Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan during the next two days and abate thereafter due to a rise in minimum temperature by 1-3 degrees Celsius.

“Stop any activity level if you experience any unusual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing, breathing difficulty, or fatigue and consult Doctor. If the room has windows, close them. If the air conditioner provides a fresh air intake option, close it. Avoid burning anything, such as wood, candles or even incense. Keep the room clean – don’t vacuum. Do wet mopping frequently,” an advisory issued by the SAFAR read.

A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Texas and the University of Minnesota on December 10 revealed that that air pollution in Delhi is responsible for approximately 10,000 to 30,000 annual deaths. This means as many as 80 people are losing their lives every day to pollution from PM 2.5.

The study also mentioned that the deaths are mostly from heart attacks and strokes, rather than from respiratory disorders.