Heavy fog disrupts air and road traffic in UAE


Heavy fog disrupts air and road traffic in UAE

DUBAI - Foggy conditions across the country resulted in severe disruption of road and air traffic on Monday, with several injuries reported.

By Afkar Abdullah, Dhanusha Gokulan & Haseeb Haider

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Published: Tue 29 Jan 2013, 12:31 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Apr 2015, 1:24 PM

The bad weather caused two separate accidents and a traffic jam involving 63 vehicles on the Sharjah bypass road. Five people were reportedly injured in the pileup. Also, the Dubai Traffic Department reported 71 accidents. 

TERRIBLE BEAUTY... Foggy morning in Al Nahda, Dubai on Monday.  — KT photo by Shihab

Apart from traffic disruption on major roads in all emirates, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah airports reported a number of flight delays during morning departures. 

Ahmad Al Haddabi, Chief Operating Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) spoke of the disruptions: “In the early hours of Monday, Abu Dhabi witnessed heavy fog, which had a minor impact on aircraft movement at Abu Dhabi International Airport.”

He said eight flights were diverted to Al Ain International Airport and one flight was diverted to Dubai, from Abu Dhabi International Airport, in-line with national and international regulations with regards to low visibility operations, and in coordination with Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre.

The morning scene in the Dubai World Trade Centre area on Monday. KT photo by Rahul Gajjar

“The operation at the airport is normal and all flights are currently departing and landing as per their existing or revised schedules,” the COO said in a statement.

Abu Dhabi International Airport is equipped to handle low visibility operations, to ensure minimal disruption during such weather conditions, he said.

Sharjah Airport also reported major disruption. Ten Air Arabia flights from Dammam, Riyadh, Kuwait, Kochi and other major cities were delayed between three to four hours, however all flights began landing on time after 3pm. Dubai Civil Aviation authorities said that three flights that were scheduled to land at Dubai Airport were diverted to a neighbouring airport.            

Command and Control Centre at the Operations Department of Dubai Police registered 71 accidents in different parts of the emirate caused by the thick blanket of fog. The department received as many as 806 telephone calls on related incidents.

Colonel Ahmed Shehail, Acting Director of the Command and Control Centre urged all motorists and road users to exercise extra caution and attention when weather fluctuates: “The country is experiencing an unstable climatic condition, which leads to traffic accidents, that increase during these periods,” he added.

In Sharjah, the pile up that involved 63 vehicles occurred on the Sharjah bypass road at Al Rahmania area towards the seventh intersection.

The first accident involving 30 vehicles took place at 7am, however, the second accident involving 33 cars took place a little after intersection seven in the same area.

A senior official at the Sharjah Traffic Department said that the accident occurred because people fail to follow traffic rules and regulations such as obliging by the speed limits and maintaining enough space between vehicles.

Colonel Shehail called on all drivers to follow the advice and instructions issued by all bodies in the country and advised them to ensure that the front windshield, windowpanes, lights, and light signals are clean, before taking to the road.

“Drivers should keep adequate distance with vehicles ahead, reduce speed to be able to find out the extent of the visibility ahead ... and not change lanes unless necessary.” He urged road users to use all lights of the vehicle when going out in the early hours, and approach the nearest police station if minor traffic accidents take place, noting that drivers should only use hazard lights when an accident occurs

The National Centre of Meteorology & Seismology (NCMS) has urged motorists to be more cautious on the roads, owing to &fog, specially on the roads of Abu Dhabi and Northern Areas in the Country.




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