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Record snowstorm paralyzes S. Korea

Feb. 14, 2011 at 7:28 PM   |   Comments

SEOUL, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A 3-foot snowfall along South Korea's east coast necessitated the government rescue of stranded motorists and residents in remote villages, officials say.

Officials from the Gangwon provincial government said they mobilized about 22,600 people, 1,750 snowplows and other equipment to clear snow from roads and highways.

Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik ordered authorities to make rapid damage assessments and help people in heavily snow-impacted areas such as rural villages in Gangwon province, the Yonhap News Agency reported Monday.

The record amount of almost 1 yard of snow that fell during the weekend included 31 inches of snow on Friday -- the heaviest single-day Korean record since meteorologists began compiling records in 1911.

This is the biggest snowfall in a century, Yonhap said.

There were about 80 flights canceled and 40 delayed at Gimhae International Airport with accompanying road closures in and around the nearby port city of Busan.

About 146 remote village households in Gangwon province remained isolated Monday because of heavy snow, officials said.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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