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Fog closes highways, disrupts flights in Beijing


19:17, December 05, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Thick fog that descended upon Beijing on Sunday has since forced the closure of various highways and cancellation of flights.

As of 2 p.m. Monday, 207 inbound and outbound flights were canceled at Beijing Capital International Airport, while 126 were delayed for at least one hour.

Sunday afternoon Beijing's municipal observatory issued a code yellow fog alert, the second in a four-scale alert system, saying visibility could drop to as low as 500 meters in some parts of the city.

Several highways have been closed temporarily due to the fog and the municipal environmental protection authority rated Monday's air pollution as "moderate."

The city's air pollution index (API) was between 150 and 170 on Monday. According to the municipal environmental monitoring center.

Scattered snow falls on Monday and Tuesday will make the air wetter and will probably prolong the fog, said Sun Jisong, chief forecaster at Beijing municipal observatory.

Other regions, including the provinces of Shandong and Hebei, and Tianjin municipality, have also been hampered by fog.

Ma Xuekuan, a weather forecaster with the country's National Meteorological Station, said he expects the fog to dissipate as a cold front sweeps across the region Thursday.


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