Heavy fog suspends shipping at Chinese ports; Shanghai issues heightened advisory

BEIJING: Heavy fog has suspended the operation of ships travelling through the Qiongzhou Strait off the coast of China’s Guangdong province and several cities, including Shanghai, have issued warning advisories, Chinese state media reported on Wednesday.

Several ports suspended the flow of traffic starting late Tuesday and the specific time of the resumption of navigation will be determined as sea visibility improves, state broadcaster CCTV news reported.

Port cities in the southwestern region of Guangxi, including Beihai and Fangchenggang, issued orange warning signals expecting dense fog up to the next 12 hours with visibility in some areas less than 200 metres (656 feet), according to CCTV.

Shanghai Central Meteorological Observatory updated its warning signal for heavy fog to orange earlier Wednesday morning with visibility less than 200 metres in most areas of the city over the next several hours, according to the city government’s WeChat social media account.

China has a three-tier colour-coded warning system for thick fog, with red being the most serious, followed by orange and yellow.

CCTV also reported that more than 100 airports across the country issued haze and snow warnings.

Heavy snow is also affecting several provinces, including Henan and Hubei, forcing the closure of several roads, CCTV reported.

Chinese weather forecasters have warned that snow and freezing rain over the next several days is expected to hamper transportation for millions of Chinese as they travel across the country for the Chinese New Year.