Cold winter weather gripped East Asia for a second day. On Wednesday, causing several deaths, and many injuries in Japan. And a scramble for flights from the South Korean resort island of Jeju after blizzard delays.
Heavy snowfall and record cold temperatures caused widespread disruption in Japan.
South Korea’s Interior and Security Ministry did not immediately report any major damage. Or injuries from the subzero temperatures and icy conditions. That have affected much of the country since Tuesday.
But, at least eight roads and 10 waterways remain closed till Wednesday afternoon. About 140 homes in the capital Seoul and surrounding areas were reported. Have broken water pressure pumps or pipes as temperatures. On the mainland dropped from around minus 5 degrees to minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Officials said one person died after being hit by a fallen tree in southern Japan’s Oita. And two deaths in the northern prefecture of Niigata were being investigated due to the cold weather.
Two others were found without vital signs in Okayama, western Japan. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki told reporters. That the deaths could be linked to snow removal accidents. And urged residents to refrain from such activities unless. There is someone else around to help in an emergency.
According to the Ministry of Economy and Industry. About 400 houses across the country were without electricity due. The damage to power lines due to falling trees. It said deliveries to convenience stores in western Japan were delayed due to traffic disruptions caused by snowfall.
Thousands of people using train services were forced to spend. The night in cars or stations in western Japan’s Kyoto. And Shiga prefectures, and 13 people were taken to hospital. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said. Traffic was stranded on major roads across the country. And hundreds of flights were cancelled. Kyoto Prefecture reported more than 30 injuries, from falls.
Air traffic returned to normal after strong winds.
And snow grounded hundreds of flights in and out of Jeju on Tuesday. Stranding an estimated 40,000 passengers. Who had visited the resort island for the Lunar New Year holiday.
About 540 flights, including about 70 that were added to the emergency response. By transportation authorities, were scheduled in and out of Jeju. On Wednesday alone, to take passengers back to mainland cities.
Korea Airports Corp. said operating hours at Gimpo Airport near Seoul were extended until 1 a.m. to accommodate extended flights. Which were expected to bring back 70% to 80% of passengers stuck in Jeju.
More than 7.5 inches of snow has fallen on the island since Tuesday morning. While southern mainland cities and towns such as Gwangju and Gangjin reported about 3.9 to 4.7 inches of snow. More than 27.5 inches of snow fell on the small eastern island of Uleng.
Winter storms were seen moving towards the greater Seoul region and nearby areas. Where heavy snow was expected from late Wednesday into Thursday afternoon. According to the Ministry of Security, which warned of dangerous road conditions.
Officials in Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds Seoul. Said about 7,000 cold weather shelters would be open across the region. And tens of thousands of tons of snow-clearing chemicals would be used to protect roads that could freeze.
Cold weather warnings were also issued in North Korea.
Where authorities reportedly called for “thorough measures. To prevent economic damage from freezing temperatures. Temperatures in the capital Pyongyang were forecast to drop to minus 2.2 degrees Wednesday morning. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said, citing North Korean state-run radio broadcasts.
North Korean state media did not immediately report any major damage or injuries due to the weather.