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(LEAD) Heavy snow leads to traffic jams in S. Korea

All News 13:54 January 20, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES details throughout)

SEOUL, Jan. 20 (Yonhap) -- Heavy snow pounded central South Korea, including the capital city of Seoul, overnight on Friday, leading to traffic and flight disruptions.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), Seoul had received a total of 6.3 centimeters of snow as of 7 a.m. Incheon, west of Seoul, had 8 centimeters of snow, with numbers for Suwon reaching 7 centimeters.

The snow warning issued by the weather authority is expected to expand to the southern part of the country as well.

More than 150 flights at Incheon International Airport, the country's main gateway, were delayed as of 11:00 a.m. including 117 departing planes.

Korea Airports Corporation said 54 flights at Gimpo International Airport in western Seoul also faced delays because of the weather as of 10:20 a.m.

Due to the below-zero temperature, the heavy snow fall led to traffic and transportation problems in the Seoul metropolitan area. At 5:22 a.m., four vehicles piled up on Seohaean Expressway, killing one. Also, earlier in the morning, a train on the Seoul subway experienced a problem, forcing 300 passengers to transfer to a new train.

In addition with the high sea waves alert being issued along the western coast, all ships connecting to major islands near Incheon are now suspended.

"It will continue to snow throughout the country, with things expected to clear during the daytime," an official from the weather agency said. It warned that cold temperatures will likely cause the snow to freeze requiring people to be careful when driving.

People walk across Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul as heavy snow fell across the nation on Jan. 20, 2017, the day of "daehan," one of the 24 seasonal divisions under the lunar calendar that marks the coldest day of the year. (Yonhap) (END)


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