Seoul under first-ever heat warning

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Seoul under first-ever heat warning

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A woman crosses the street through heat haze yesterday in Yeouido, western Seoul, amid a heat-wave warning issued for the capital. It marks the first time ever the city was placed under the warning since the heat alert system was introduced in 2008. [YONHAP]


The Korea Meteorological Administration issued its first-ever heat-wave warning in Seoul yesterday, an upgrade from a heat-wave advisory issued last week.

The weather agency gave the warning with the expectation of the capital reaching 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) for two consecutive days.

It marked the first time the city received the heat-wave warning since the designation system was introduced in 2008. The weather agency issues heat-wave advisories when temperature highs are expected to reach 33 degrees Celsius two days in a row. However, warnings are issued when the temperatures are expected to reach 35 degrees Celsius or higher for two consecutive days.

Seoul’s high yesterday was 35.3 degrees Celsius. Intense heat was felt all over the country yesterday, with some regions in North Jeolla and Gangwon posting over 37 degrees Celsius.

The heat wave is forecast to continue through mid-August with little sign of easing. “Sweltering heat will continue through mid-August with many regions seeing their temperatures reaching over 33 degrees Celsius followed by ‘tropical nights,’?” said meteorologist Jang Hyun-sik at the state-run weather agency. A “tropical night” occurs when the temperature stays above 25 degrees Celsius from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m.

The simmering heat wave in recent days has caused human casualties, claiming four lives over seven days, from July 25 to Tuesday, bringing the total number to seven who have lost their lives due to excessive heat this year.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare reported yesterday that a 79-year-old female in Hwasun County, South Jeolla, collapsed while farming rice and was found dead on July 27. A 68-year-old male homeless man was also seen dead presumably from the heat in front of Busan Station on Monday.

For the seven-day period, from July 25 to Tuesday, a total of 255 patients have sought medical treatment for exposure to heat, which is a drastic hike in the number during such a short period, considering the total number of patients reported from June 1 to July 31 stands at 410.


By Kang Jin-kyu, Park Yu-mi [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]

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