NEW DELHI: Around 15 flights were delayed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in the national capital, which was enveloped in dense fog on Monday morning. According to a morning update of the India Meteorological Department, visibility in Delhi's Safdarjung area was recorded at 25 metres and at Palam at 50 metres at around 6 am today.
The thick layer of fog led to decreased visibility. Around 15 flights have been delayed at the IGIA due to ongoing weather conditions, said an official at Delhi airport. "Flights were delayed due to severe fog and cold in the national capital. Visuals from Delhi Airport. Visibility is very low at the airport and the weather here is freezing," passengers at Delhi airport told ANI.
Just past midnight, the IGIA issued a statement saying: "Low visibility procedures are in progress at Delhi airport...Passengers are requested to contact the airline concerned for updated flight reactions."
Vehicles were seen with their headlights on during the morning hours. Severe cold wave conditions continued to prevail in Delhi and adjoining areas.
People were seen around gas stations and on street corners huddled around large bonfires to beat the cold.
"Visibility recorded at 5:30 am today in Bhatinda-0 metres, Amritsar-25 and Ambala-25 metres each, Hissar-50 metres, Delhi (Safdarjung)-25 metres, Delhi (Palam)-50 metres; Uttar Pradesh: Agra-0 metre, Lucknow (Amausi)-0 metres, Varanasi (Babatpur)-25 metres, Bareilly-50 metres," according to IMD.
As per satellite imagery and available visibility data from the IMD, the fog layer extended from Punjab and adjoining northwest Rajasthan to Bihar across Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
As many as 29 trains were running late in the Northern Railway region alone on Monday, due to fog, including the Rajdhani Express trains. Delayed due to fog and cold, passengers were seen facing a lot of problems.
As per the data from Indian Railways: "Anvt Garib Rath is running 7 hours late, Sealdah Rajdhani Express 11:30 hours late, Howrah Rajdhani Express 10:30 hours late, Jainagar Garib Rath Express 10:30 hours late, New Delhi Bhuneshwar Rajdhani Express 09 hours late, Duranto Express 13:30 hours late, among others," The air quality was in the 'Severe' category with an overall AQI of 422 in Delhi today. A thick layer of fog also covered Noida and parts of Gurugram.
The Air Quality Index from 0 to 100 is considered as good, while from 100 to 200 it is moderate, from 200 to 300 it is poor, and from 300 to 400 it is said to be very poor and from 400 to 500 or above it is considered as severe.
According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), Delhi's air quality was also recorded to be in the upper end of the 'very poor' category on Sunday.