Flights axed as snow blankets Jeju in S. Korea

Planes on the snow-covered landing strip at Jeju International Airport. The island saw its biggest snowfall in three decades.
Planes on the snow-covered landing strip at Jeju International Airport. The island saw its biggest snowfall in three decades.PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL • Flights at the airport on the South Korean holiday island of Jeju were halted yesterday for a second day due to the biggest snowfall in three decades and high winds, which forced hundreds of cancellations, officials said.

The vacation spot off the south of the Korean peninsula recorded its biggest snowfall in 32 years at 11cm as of yesterday, with more than 1m of snow in mountain areas.

All flights were cancelled from late Saturday afternoon until 9am local time today, the Transportation Ministry said. All 517 flights scheduled yesterday as well as around 60 flights scheduled for this morning were cancelled, Korea Airports Corp said. On Saturday, 296 flights were cancelled and 122 delayed before Jeju airport was shut late in the afternoon.

About 6,000 passengers were stranded on Saturday, the ministry said, but the number fell to 1,500 early yesterday morning.

In parts of western and central Japan, heavy snowfall also blanketed towns and cities, causing disruptions to transportation networks, with flights cancelled and bullet trains reducing their services, Xinhua news agency reported.

In China, the state-run People's Daily said on its Weibo account that Guangzhou recorded its first snowfall since 1929.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2016, with the headline 'Flights axed as snow blankets Jeju in S. Korea'. Print Edition | Subscribe