Record snowfall disrupts traffic in central South Korea

By 윤민식
  • Published : Feb 4, 2013 - 10:46
  • Updated : Feb 4, 2013 - 10:46

Heavy snow pounded central South Korea, including the capital city of Seoul, on Monday, disrupting air and ground traffic and delaying the start of schools.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), Seoul had received a total of 16.5 centimeters of snow as of 7 a.m., the highest amount so far this winter and also the highest for February since 2001.

Incheon, west of Seoul, had 14.6 cm of snow; Munsan, a city close to the truce village of Panmunjom, got 14.5 cm; and Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, received 12.2 cm, the weather agency added.

The heavy snowfall caused an airplane to slip off the icy runway at Gimpo International Airport in western Seoul late Sunday as it was taxiing after landing.

The airplane was towed to the gate after it got stuck on an adjacent lawn. No injuries were reported among its 187 passengers and six crew members aboard, according to the authorities, adding an investigation is under way to learn the exact cause of the accident.

Overnight, a total of 14 domestic and international flights scheduled to land at Gimpo were shifted to Incheon International Airport, said the airport operators, adding dozens of flights have also been delayed at Incheon.

The education offices in Seoul and the surrounding Gyeonggi Province delayed the start of classes for elementary and secondary schools in their districts by one hour, with some schools closing for the day.

In Seoul, some 41 households in southwestern ward of Geumcheon and 397 homes in southern Seocho-gu experienced a power outage late Sunday, according to the authorities.

The weather agency lifted a snowfall warning in Seoul and Gyeonggi, with the advisory still being in effect for most of the central and eastern part of the country. Though the heavy snow is expected to stop across the region early Monday, more snow is expected on Tuesday, according to the KMA. (Yonhap News)