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Japan and South Korea Struggle With Heavy Snow Chaos and Delays

By 01/25/2023 11:16 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

On Wednesday, East Asia was hit by bitter winter weather for the second day. Snowstorm delays resulted in flight cancellations from South Korea’s resort island of Jeju and several deaths and injuries in Japan.

In Japan, significant disruptions were caused by heavy snowfall and record-low temperatures.

The majority of the country has been experiencing subzero temperatures and ice conditions since Tuesday, but South Korea’s Ministry of the Interior and Safety did not immediately disclose any significant damage or injuries.

However, on Wednesday afternoon, at least eight land and ten maritime routes were still restricted.

As temperatures dropped to about – 15 to minus 20 degrees Celsius (5 degrees), about 140 residences in the capital Seoul and adjacent regions reported busted water pressure pumps or pipes.

Officials said two further deaths in Niigata’s northern prefecture were being probed due to the cold weather.

A man died in Oita, southern Japan, after being struck by a falling tree.

Two more people were discovered in Okayama, western Japan, without any signs of life. Yoshihiko Isozaki, the deputy chief cabinet secretary, told reporters that the deaths might have been caused by mishaps when clearing snow, and he warned locals to avoid engaging in such activities when no one else is available to assist in an emergency.

According to the Economy and Industry Ministry, 400 houses nationwide were without electricity because falling trees had damaged power lines.

It claimed that the snow’s impact on traffic delayed delivery at convenience stores.

According to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, thirteen people were sent to hospitals, and thousands of passengers in Kyoto and Shiga prefectures in western Japan were forced to spend the night in carriages or stations.

Numerous flights were canceled, and hundreds of vehicles were stranded on major nationwide routes.

More than 30 injuries, mainly from falls, were reported in Kyoto Prefecture.

After hundreds of flights into and out of Jeju were grounded on Tuesday due to high winds and snowfall, air service resumed as usual, stranding an estimated 40,000 visitors who had come to the resort island for the Lunar New Year festivities.

Approximately 540 flights were scheduled into and out of Jeju that day, including almost 70 that the transportation authorities temporarily added as a reaction to an emergency.

The Gimpo airport near Seoul has extended its operating hours until one in the morning, according to the Korea Airports Corporation, to make room for more aircraft, which were anticipated to return 70% to 80% of the travelers who were stranded in Jeju.

Since Tuesday morning, the island has received more than 19 centimeters (7.5 inches) of snow, whereas southern mainland cities and towns like Gwangju and Gangjin have received only 10 to 12 centimeters (3.9 to 4.7 inches).

The small eastern island of Ulleung received more than 70 centimeters (27.5 inches) of snow.

The Safety Ministry stated that severe snowfall was anticipated from late Wednesday to Thursday afternoon in the greater Seoul area and neighboring regions as the winter storms appeared to advance toward those areas.

According to officials in Seoul’s neighboring Gyeonggi province, nearly 7,000 cold-weather shelters will be open throughout the region.

Several thousand tons of snow-clearing chemicals will be deployed to increase road safety.

Authorities reportedly urged for “thorough efforts” to stop frigid temperatures from causing economic harm when cold weather warnings were also issued in North Korea.

According to a North Korean state-run radio program, the capital city of Pyongyang was expected to see temperatures as low as minus 19 C (minus 2.2 F) on Wednesday morning.

No significant weather-related injuries or damage were immediately reported in the state-run media in North Korea.

 

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