Posted : 2018-01-12 18:48
Updated : 2018-01-12 20:08

Jeju Int'l Airport returns to normal

By Kim Jae-heun

Air routes and seaways from Jeju Island were cleared Friday after two days of isolation caused by the sweeping cold wave and heavy snowfall.

The weather left 7,047 travelers stranded on the island on Thursday night.

The very first Asiana Airlines flight that departed from Gimpo International Airport landed safely at 6:59 a.m., followed by a T'way aircraft with 168 passengers which took off at 8:19 a.m. to Gimpo. Seventy-seven flights took off and landed _ normalizing Jeju International Airport to its fullest operation.

However, the Jeju airport still has not lifted its issuance of a wind shear warning and 7,000 travelers are stranded on the island.

Airlines will operate 224 flights _ providing air transportation for 44,639 people _ and they are considering additional flights for snowbound travelers.

The Jeju Department of Korea Airports Corporation predicted all of the stranded visitors can return home within a day.

The Jeju Regional Meteorological Administration has cleared the heavy-snowfall watch issued in the southern, northern and western regions of the island as well as Chuja Island as of 10 a.m. The organization also lifted a high seas warning issued for the eastern region as of noon.

The sea route situation has improved too.

The regional weather agency cleared its high seas watch for the coastal waters off Jeju Island and the western part of the southern sea as of 1 p.m.

Seven passenger ships traveling in five courses to Mokpo, Yeosu and Wando began operation again and small boats were allowed to go out in the sea for fishing. Still, five ferries operating in three seaways are held back from sailing.

The main roads of Jeju City are open again after subdued weather conditions and snow-clearing, but the roads in island's mountainous interior are still under control.

The heavy-snowfall warning is still in effect on the mountains in Jeju Island and Mount Halla has been off-limits since Tuesday.

The Korea Meteorological Administration said the snow clouds will wear thin and snowfall in the coastal area will come to end eventually. It also forecasts snowfall in the mountainous area will continue until late afternoon.

The weather will recover average temperatures as of Saturday afternoon, said the weather agency.

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