Heavy Fog And Air Pollution In Hanoi Delay Flights
Flight operations at Noi Bai International Airport, serving Vietnam’s capital, faced significant delays and diversions on Friday owing to a dense cover of heavy fog compounded by escalating air pollution in Hanoi. An airport official, who preferred anonymity, confirmed the adverse weather conditions had halted both arrivals and departures, compelling flights to reroute to alternative destinations such as Haiphong and Danang.
Air Visual, a renowned independent online platform monitoring air quality, reported a concerning spike in air pollution in Hanoi. The levels of PM2.5, fine particulate matter that poses severe health risks, reached a critical high of 257 micrograms per cubic meter in the early hours of Friday. Such concentrations far exceed the World Health Organization’s recommended safe limits, underscoring the severity of the pollution crisis in the city.
The disruption affected nearly 100 flights, causing inconvenience to passengers and significant logistical challenges for airlines. Vietjet, a prominent budget carrier in Vietnam, announced that several of its flights destined for Hanoi were compelled to divert to Haiphong City due to the untenable conditions at Noi Bai International Airport.
Hanoi’s battle with air pollution has been a longstanding issue, positioning the city frequently among the most polluted globally. Over the years, the decline in air quality has led health officials to recommend protective measures for the city’s residents, including the use of masks and a reduction in outdoor activities to mitigate health risks.
The recent episode, where heavy fog combined with high levels of air pollutants, underscores Hanoi’s persistent environmental and public health dilemmas. This toxic mix has not only compromised the city’s populace’s well-being but also disrupted critical infrastructure, as seen in the significant impact on air travel operations.
The convergence of fog and elevated pollution levels resulted in delays and diversions of flights at Noi Bai International Airport, illustrating how environmental issues can ripple through and affect various facets of urban life. This situation serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for effective pollution control measures and sustainable urban planning to safeguard the health of residents and ensure the smooth functioning of essential services in Hanoi.
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