Jan 18, 2012 at 04:01pm IST

Dense fog hits Delhi; South India shivers

New Delhi: Delhi woke up to a thick fog hanging over the city on Wednesday. Dense fog disrupted flight operations at the IGI Airport on Wednesday morning with 30 flights delayed and three cancelled. Two other flights were diverted.

The fog started to descend at the airport in the wee hours due to which the runway visibility dipped below 100 metre and the general visibility to less than 50 metre, an airport official said.

As the runway visibility was less than the required minimum for takeoff of 125 metre and 150 metre, flights were unable to take off, he said.

This is the first spell of dense fog this year.

Delhiites shivered as the maximum temperature plummetted to 14 degree Celsius, making Tuesday the coldest day of this winter. Icy winds blew across the city and overnight rains added to the chill in the morning hours.

Tuesday's maximum was six degree Celsius below normal and down from the previous day's 20.3 degrees while the minimum temperature was at 9.3 degree Celsius, two degrees above normal but down from Monday's 10.5 degrees.

On January 6, the maximum had dropped to 16.9 degree Celsius, the lowest maximum this season till then.

Cold wave across the country

The Jammu Srinagar National Highway is likely to reopen on Wednesday. The assurance has come from the Border Roads Organisation that is clearing the stretch. The highway has been closed for the last three days due to heavy snowfall. Many other parts of the valley have also been cut off. The temperature fell to 0.2 in Srinagar and 1.4 degrees in Qazigund.

And this time the South hasn't been spared either. An unprecendented cold wave sweeping through the region has left seven people dead in Andhra Pradesh.

Infact Karnataka experienced its coldest day in over a 100 years. The minimum temperature in Belgaum was 7.2 degrees. Bangalore was at 12 degrees.

Earlier on Tuesday, Dense fog in northern India kept rail traffic affected in the region with 16 trains running late by many hours and 39 trains cancelled.

Puri Express is running late by 17 hours while Gomti Express and Swatantra Senani Express are running 14 and 13 hours behind schedule respectively.

"We are constantly updating our website and the railway inquiry system is also being strengthened to inform passengers about the train position," said a senior Northern Railway official.

With Additional Inputs from Agencies