KARACHI: A thick layer of fog enveloped Karachi in the early hours of Wednesday, as mercury levels dropped signalling the start of the winter season in the port city.
As the fog dissipated, a layer of smoke was formed in the air, reducing visibility and increasing pollution in the metropolis.
According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), an absence of sea breeze since the past three days and relatively high humidity led to the foggy, smoky weather.
The PMD further added that the foggy conditions are likely to persist for the next three days.
Director PMD Abbas Shahid stated, “The weather in the metropolis has turned [slightly chilly] due to the land temperature dropping and the fog.”
He added, “Fog is further created due to the absence of air in the atmosphere and a high level of humidity.”
“This will continue for the next two to three days,” he said, clarifying, “It is fog and not smog.”
The director was referring to the smog persisting in Punjab over the last few days, which resulted in poor air quality, making breathing difficult for the residents. However, rainfall on Tuesday somewhat settled the smog.
Meanwhile, Islamabad and Rawalpindi received light rain Wednesday morning, dropping the mercury levels further. Rain has also been forecast for Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Malakand and Hazara divisions.
Health experts have cautioned citizens against the adverse effects of foggy, smoky conditions. They have advised the public to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary. Furthermore, they recommended to cover the face and nose when stepping out in order to minimise inhaling the smoky air.
Glasses are recommended in order to protect the eyes against smoke particles.