Heavy fog lingers over north China region for a week

2007-12-24 19:02:26 Xinhua English

SHIJIAZHUANG, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Heavy fog has lingered in north China's Hebei Province for the seventh straight day on Tuesday, and it is unlikely to dissipate till this weekend, the provincial observatory forecast Tuesday.

The fog is one of the strongest for the same period in the local observatory history, said Guo Yingchun, spokeswoman of the observatory.

More than 100 flights via the province have been called off or delayed for further notice, and major highways linking the province with neighboring Beijing and Tianjin have been closed since Dec. 20, according to the traffic departments.

The province is responsible for 50 percent of vegetable supply for Beijing and Tianjin. Big coaches and vans were seen stopped at highway stations waiting for the traffic to resume.

Closure of highways pushed passengers to train travel. Sources with the railway authorities said that tickets were sold out on routes to Beijing.

The observatory spokeswoman said that the visibility in the southern area of the province is still less than 500 meters, but the fog density has shown signs of waning in the rest part of the province on Tuesday.

A strong cold air is forecast to arrive in the province on Dec. 28, bringing sleet, snow and strong gale there, when the temperature will dive substantially, said the spokeswoman.

The mist caused about a dozen road accidents, reported the local traffic control center, which has not given the casualty figure.