Season's first heat wave warning issued
By Kim Rahn
A heat wave warning was issued for the northern part of Gyeonggi Province and Incheon, Monday, the first such alert this year.
The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) issued the warning at 11 a.m. for the Donggucheon, Yeoncheon, Yangju and Paju regions of the province as well as the western port city of Incheon. The warning is issued when a temperature of 33 degrees Celsius or above is expected for at least two days. The areas the warning applies to have experienced such temperatures since Sunday.
“Other parts of the central Korean Peninsula have been hot for days, with many cities and countries registering temperatures over 30 degrees. Sultry weather is expected to continue in inland areas throughout the week,” a KMA official said.
The weather agency advised people, especially the elderly and children, to drink plenty of water and not to go outside at midday.
The warning was lifted at 6 p.m.
Eastern coastal areas have had and will see lower temperatures than the annual average for several days due to their topography, according to the KMA.
Although the nation continues to suffer the worst drought in a century, rain is forecast for the weekend.
The weather agency expects rainfall to start in Jeju on Wednesday and expand to the southern coastal area on Friday. Rain is forecast for Saturday in northern parts of the country, including Seoul and Gyeonggi and Gangwon Provinces.
“We are likely to see the beginning of the rainy season early next month, with a seasonal rain front approaching the country. Precipitation may be average for the time of year or heavier than usual,” the official said.
There is a chance of torrential rainfall, so people are advised to take extra care in facility maintenance, he said.
Following the hot weather, the central and local authorities have come up with measures to tackle the extreme temperatures. Schools are advised not to hold classes outdoors and they will be allowed shorter school hours or holidays if the heat becomes more intense.
Local authorities are opening buildings that have air conditioning to citizens as “heat shelters”, while 119 rescuers are equipped with ice packs for people suffering from heatstroke.