Thick fog blankets the city

Deters morning-walkers, paper boys and milkmen from stepping out

Early-risers in the city on Saturday had the opportunity to witness the thick pall of mist that dissolved every object in ethereal haze.

Unusually, dense fog enveloped the city from about 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., deterring morning-walkers, paper boys and milkmen from stepping out, as visibility was next to nil.

Though it is usual for the city to experience a few days of fog every year during Sankranti season, eye-witnesses vouch that Saturday morning was different from other days.

“I started after 7 a.m. for my duty, and found it extremely difficult to negotiate my way to the office owing to dense fog. It was as if an invisible blanket hung before me. The vehicles right in front of me were not visible till we came very close, almost bumper to bumper,” related Lingaswamy, a driver. The home-bound people on account of Sankranti vacation had to face the worst though. There were queues up to a kilometre at the toll plazas near Panthangi on National Highway 65 and near Gudur on Hyderabad-Warangal highway, partly owing to the festive rush and partly because of the fog.

Owing to poor visibility and delay at the toll gate, the journey to Vijayawada, which would usually take six hours, extended to eight to nine hours on Saturday. “The road from L.B. Nagar to Panthangi toll plaza takes one hour on normal days. Today, it took 2 hours 15 minutes,” Tweeted Srinath Nagella, a traveller. It was well beyond 8 a.m. by the time the first rays of sun pierced through the thick blanket of fog. The Meteorological Department has predicted foggy mornings for the next five days, despite the rise in day-time temperatures. There would be an increase in maximum temperature from 29.4 degrees Celsius recorded on January 11 to 31 degree Celsius by January 15, while the minimum temperature could hover around 18-19 degree Celsius, the department forecasts.

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