Heavy snow, freezing weather hit much of S. Korea

SEOUL, Heavy snow and freezing temperatures hit across the country Saturday, grounding dozens of flights and prompting the authorities to issue weather alerts.

The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) issued heavy snow advisories in the morning for Incheon, Daejeon, Gwangju, Sejong, South Chungcheong Province, South Jeolla Province, North Jeolla Province and mountainous areas of Jeju Island.

The interior ministry also raised the disaster alert level to “caution,” the third highest in the four-tier system.
As snow moved south in the afternoon, the advisories were lifted for northern regions while they were in place or upgraded to heavy snow warnings for the central and southern regions and Jeju Island.

Heavy snow advisories and warnings are issued when more than 5 and 20 cm of snow, respectively, are predicted to accumulate within 24 hours.

As of 4 p.m., Gunsan and Jeonju in North Jeolla Province received 14.2 cm and 8 cm of snow, respectively. Seocheon and Taean in South Chungcheong Province recorded 10.9 cm and 10.1 cm, respectively. A mountainous area on Jeju Island got 8.9 cm, the weather agency said.

At least 12 flights from and to the southern island were grounded and 116 planes were delayed.

About 45 passenger ships were suspended in Jeju, Incheon, Mokpo, Yeosu and other areas due to strong winds and high waves.

Several car accidents were reported as snow created dangerous driving conditions.

A car skidded and crashed into a guardrail in the southwestern county of Yeongam in the morning. No casualties occurred. A tour bus fell sideways after colliding with a car on an expressway in the central city of Dangin. Four bus passengers were injured.

The nation was also gripped by a cold wave with temperatures in the morning hitting minus 8.4 C in Seoul, minus 7 C in Incheon, minus 6 C in Daejeon, and zero C in Busan.

Cold wave warnings and advisories were issued across the country, including Seoul, Incheon, Daejeon, Daegu and Gyeonggi, Gangwon, South and North Chungcheong, North Jeolla and North Gyeongsang provinces.

The advisory is issued when the morning low is expected to fall more than 10 degrees from the previous day to below 3 C or stay below minus 12 C for more than two consecutive days. The warning is issued when the morning low is expected to dive more than 15 C to below 3 C or stay below minus 15 C for more than two consecutive days.

On Sunday, the cold spell will last across the nation and the southwestern region and Jeju Island are forecast to have heavy snow, according to the KMA.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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