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(LEAD) Cold spell, heavy snowfall hit South Korea

19:45 December 23, 2022

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead; UPDATES throughout with latest details; ADDS photo)
By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, Dec. 23 (Yonhap) -- A cold snap accompanied by heavy snowfall gripped South Korea on Friday, disrupting flights and causing car accidents on frozen roads in many parts of the nation.

South Korea witnessed the coldest day of the season, with the temperature in mountainous areas of Gangwon Province dipping to morning lows of minus 26.3 C, the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said.

In Seoul, morning lows plummeted to minus 13.6 C and a sensible temperature of nearly minus 22 C, the KMA said.

The Han River in Seoul is frozen on Dec. 23, 2022, amid extremely cold weather. (Yonhap)

The freezing temperatures were accompanied by heavy snow in the southern parts of the country, including the Chungcheong and Jeolla areas, and the southern resort island of Jeju.

As of 5 p.m., Sunchang in North Jeolla Province had received 63.5 centimeters of snow, while some mountainous regions on Jeju Island had received up to 80 cm of snow.

Heavy snow amid the freezing weather caused car accidents, road closures and flight cancellations.

Among 474 flights scheduled to operate to and from Jeju Island, all but two international flights were suspended, according to airport officials.

The operation of passenger ferries linking the mainland to the island have all been cancelled due to strong wind advisory, transport officials said.

Many schools in North Jeolla Province decided to take steps to cope with the cold weather by adjusting hours of commuting to and from schools or holding remote classes.

The extremely cold weather occurred across the country under the influence of high pressure, which is expected to continue until Christmas which falls on Sunday, the KMA said.

A car is parked on a snow-covered road in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, southwestern South Korea, on Dec. 23, 2022. (Yonhap)



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