Seoul hit by protracted drought, heat wave
Seoul is struggling to cope with its worst drought in a century, the metropolitan government said Tuesday, as the mercury in the capital area rose to a 12-year high.
The cumulative rainfall in Seoul from May 1 to Tuesday totaled 10.6 mm, which represents merely 6.1 percent of the previous years' average of 173.9 mm, the government said, noting that precipitation was its lowest in 104 years.
The metropolitan government has mobilized 444 water tankers and secured the support of 55 private vehicles to regularly spray water onto street trees, parks and other areas in need of emergency water supply.
Amid the protracted drought, Seoul has been hit by a heat wave in recent weeks.
According to the weather center, Seoul's temperature rose to a sweltering 33.5 C as of 1:31 p.m., the highest in 12 years.
The mercury in Incheon and Suwon, both near Seoul, also rose to 33.8 C and 33.7 C, respectively, the center said.
With the heat wave lowering the country's electricity reserve rate to dangerous levels, the government is scheduled to hold a nationwide anti-blackout exercise at 2 p.m. Thursday, the National Emergency Management Agency said.
During the 20-minute exercise, all residents will be advised to participate in energy-saving activities on the assumption the nation is on the brink of a power blackout, the agency said. (Yonhap)