South Korea Hit by Season’s Strongest Cold Wave

Seoul - South Korea experienced its strongest cold wave of the season on Friday, with morning temperatures plummeting below minus 20 degrees Celsius in some areas of Gangwon Province. The cold snap caused widespread traffic disruptions and daily life challenges, and blanketed Jeju Island and western coastal areas with heavy snow.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Seoul recorded a morning low of minus 14.7 degrees Celsius. In Hwacheon of Gangwon Province, temperatures dipped to minus 21.5 degrees Celsius, with other regions recording even lower temperatures. Strong winds exacerbated the chilly conditions across most regions.

A heavy snow advisory was issued for Jeju, western coastal areas of South Chungcheong, and the southwestern provinces of Jeolla. Jeju International Airport suspended runway operations for over seven hours due to more than 30.2 centimeters of snow, leading to the cancellation of 286 domestic and international flights.

Flight operations at Jeju International Airport resumed in the afternoon after the runway was cleared of snow. The KMA forecasts continued snowfall in western coastal regions until early Saturday.

The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters reported over 200 cases of frozen and broken water meters nationwide. In Jeolla and South Chungcheong, heavy snow caused the collapse of 13 livestock sheds and greenhouses. The adverse weather also disrupted ferry services, closed trails at national parks, and led to numerous traffic incidents.

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