Intense cold hits all parts, even Jeju and Busan

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Intense cold hits all parts, even Jeju and Busan

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The Han River in Seoul freezes over. Seoul experienced its lowest temperature in 10 years yesterday, with the mercury falling to minus 17.8 degrees Celsius. [NEWSIS]

Bitter cold swept over the Korean Peninsula from Siberia and the Arctic over the weekend, plunging the temperature to minus 17.8 degrees Celsius (minus 0.04 Fahrenheit) in Seoul yesterday and bursting exterior water meters in the process.

The Korea Metrological Administration said yesterday that Seoul recorded its lowest temperature since Jan. 15, 2001. And the intense cold spell will continue until this Wednesday, the agency added.

In Busan, a port city that rarely gets temperatures below zero, the mercury dipped to minus 12.8 degrees Celsius, the lowest in 96 years. Wind chill is making it even worse.

“Wind is making it feel colder, to effectively minus 30 degrees in the middle regions [of the Korean Peninsula],” a weather agency official said.

Cheorwon in Gangwon, only 9 kilometers (5.59 miles) from the border with North Korea, came in at minus 24.3 degrees, recording the lowest temperature nationwide yesterday. Daejeon saw minus 16.1 degrees, Daegu hit minus 13.1 degrees and Gwangju was at minus 11.7 degrees, according to the weather agency.

Geoje, Milyang and Changwon, all in South Gyeongsang, recorded their own record-setting cold temperatures yesterday, breaking records held since the cities started weather observations in 1971, the agency said.

“High pressure in Siberia has expanded its strength and sent a cold air mass of minus 40 degrees to the Korean Peninsula,” the agency official said.

The agency said that warmer-than-usual-temperatures in the Arctic pushed freezing air into middle latitudes, causing the severe cold snap.

“And the snow cover in Siberia made the air moving from the North Pole even colder,” the official said.

The agency predicted minus 16 degrees in Seoul today, minus 21 in Cheorwon, minus 14 in Daejeon, minus 10 in Gwangju, minus 9 in Daegu and minus 7 in Busan.

In addition, Jeju Island, Ulleung Island, Dokdo islets and coastal cities blocked by mountains have seen snow since Saturday. Cold air passing over relatively warm seas formed snow clouds, weather analysts said, even covering Mount Halla on Jeju Island.

Reports came in from cities nationwide that water meters had frozen and burst. According to the Office of Waterworks at the Seoul Metropolitan Government, more than 200 Seoulites reported burst water meters yesterday.

“Apartments with old water meters outside the building froze and burst,” an official at the office said. “Opening the tap slightly and letting water run continuously will prevent them from freezing.”

In Hapcheon, South Gyeongsang, strong winds tore off a cover of a 23,000-square-meter greenhouse raising paprika.

“It will cost 60 million won ($53,811) to repair the cover,” said No Yeong-hwan, 61.

By Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]


Related Korean Article [중앙일보]

부산 95년 만의 한파에 동사자까지 … 김해는 수돗물 끊겨
혹한 몰아친 부산·김해 르포

혹한이 몰아친 16일 경남 김해시. 50만 시민들은 오전 10시30분 이후부터 세수는커녕 화장실 사용도 참아야 하는 극심한 불편을 겪었다. 생림면 봉림리 지하 6m에 묻힌 상수관이 얼어서 터져 도시 전체에 수돗물 공급이 중단됐기 때문이다. 지름 2100㎜의 관이었지만 강추위를 견디지 못했다. 김해시는 대형 굴착기와 덤프트럭을 동원해 상수도관을 다시 연결하는 작업을 했지만 추위때문에 작업이 늦어지면서 17일 오후나 돼야 수돗물을 공급할 수 있다고 설명했다.

이날 부산 자갈치 시장에서 생선가게를 하는 박성곤(44)씨는 진열대에 올려놓은 생선과 하루종일 씨름했다. 기온이 급격히 떨어지면서 생선이 얼까 걱정돼서다. 생선 위에 수건을 덮었다 아예 스티로폼 박스 안에 넣기도 했다. 박씨는 “생선이 얼면 맛이 떨어져서 팔리지 않는다”며 “생선을 얼지 않게 하느라 애를 먹었다”고 말했다. 박씨의 가게는 추위 때문에 손님도 줄어 매출이 하루 전의 절반에 그쳤다.

‘따뜻한 남쪽지방’인 부산·김해가 동장군의 위엄 앞에 꽁꽁 얼었다. 부산은 16일 최저 기온이 섭씨 영하 12.8도를 기록했다. 1915년 영하 14도 이후 96년 만의 강추위다. 부산에서는 1905년부터 기상 관측을 했다. 김해의 최저기온도 영하 13.6도였다. 두 지역은 겨울에도 추위와는 거리가 먼 곳이었다. 하지만 이날 한 세기 만의 한파 공습에 동사자도 생겼다. 바닷물도 …

http://news.joins.com/article/335/4933335.html?ctg=

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