HAIKOU, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- A heavy fog has disrupted ferry services on the Qiongzhou Strait in south China, stranding over 100,000 passengers and more than 10,000 cars in Hainan island, local authorities said Wednesday, the last day of Spring Festival holiday.
According to the local maritime department, the fog lasted for seven days, with the visibility being less than 200 meters in worst time, triggering five suspension notices.
Nearly 10,000 vehicles and about 44,000 passengers have been shipped to Guangdong Province across the strait on Wednesday. But more than 10,000 cars were still waiting in or outside the three ports of Haikou city, capital of Hainan Province as of 5 p.m..
Traffic police have gone all out to maintain traffic order. Over 2,000 volunteers were offering help on site. Thirty restaurants handed out free meals to stranded passengers.
Hainan, known for its tropical climate and clean air, is a popular destination for Chinese tourists in winter holidays. According to the city's traffic authority, 90,000 vehicles and over 400,000 tourists were estimated to leave the island during this year's Spring Festival holiday. X Hainan and Guangdong have arranged 53 roll-on roll-off ships with a total of 2,500 parking spots onboard and nearly 48,000 passenger seats to cope with the traffic.
The local meteorological and maritime departments said fog will disperse late Wednesday night.