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Cold spell eases up in S. Korea

All News 14:59 January 25, 2016

SEOUL/JEJU, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- The cold snap that has paralyzed most of South Korea and stranded nearly 90,000 tourists on the country's resort island of Jeju began to ease up Monday afternoon, weather officials said.

The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said it has lifted a cold wave warning from 2:00 p.m and a cold wave advisory from 1:00 p.m from most parts of the country, including Jeju Island which was hit by the worst heavy snow in 32 years.

"The weather was initially expected to let-up starting Tuesday afternoon but will steadily ease up from Monday afternoon," said Kim Yong-jin, a KMA official.

A cold wave warning is issued if the morning low drops at least 15 degrees from the previous day and at least 3 degrees compared with the average year, or if the temperature remains below minus 15 degrees for two or more days.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said it began preparing for flight operations on Jeju Island as of Monday noon, finally allowing a total of 86,000 stranded tourists to return home.

Flights will be able to take-off and land starting at 3:00 p.m., officials said.

Nearly 600 flights, mostly to and from Jeju, were canceled and more than 700 vessels were stranded since Saturday.

Some 2,000 travelers have been stranded at the Jeju International Airport, the island's only airport, with runways closed due to a heavy snow storm.

khj@yna.co.kr
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