Fog blankets Punjab; airports closed
According to the 24NewsHD TV channel Wednesday, authorities announced closure of airports of Lahore, Sialkot and Faisalbad. The flights to these airports have been diverted to Islamabad while the airport authorities released revised flight schedule. The visibility was reported 20m at the airport of the provincial capital.
According to the announcement, Gilgit-bound BPK609 and Karachi-bound PK 303 were cancelled. The flights PK-610 from Gilgit, PK32 from Karachi and PK186 from Sharjah was also cancelled.
It revised the schedule too. Sharjah-bound PA412 flight will leave Lahore at 12noon, Abu Dhabi-bound PA430 at 12:30pm, Doha-bound QR621 at 12:15pm, Toronto-bound flight at 2:00 pm, Istanbul-bound TK715 at 8:00 and London-bound BA258 at 1:15pm.
It added Turkish flight TK714 arriving in Lahore at 5:30am will reach Lahore at 4:15 pm and BA 2599 from London will arrive in Lahore at 7:50am.
Reportedly, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) urged the passenger to check flight timings from PIA call centres before leaving for the airports.
Due to fog, flight TK714 from Istanbul to Lahore was delayed by eight hours while flight XY317 from Riyadh was also delayed by eight hours,” PIA spokesperson said, adding that flights from Dubai and Jeddah were also cancelled while flight J9502 from Lahore to Kuwait could not depart even after 10 hours.
Since the start of fog fall late Tuesday, road traffic has been out of gear. The dense fog blanketed the capital and adjacent areas Wednesday evening, making authorities close airports of the capital, Sialkot and Faisalabad.
Traffic snarl-ups were being reported on GT Road and other highways of the Punjab while the motorway from Lahore to Sialkot, Faisalabad, Shor Kot has been closed because of zero visibility. Fog affected routine life in Okara, Arifwala, Sahiwal, Sheikhupura, Faisalabad, Narowal, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gujrat and Pindi Bhatian.
Lahore has been declared the most polluted city as air pollution grew in Pakistan as a mixture of low-grade diesel fumes, smoke from seasonal crop burn off, and colder winter temperatures coalesce into stagnant clouds of smog.