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Heavy snow grounds planes

world Updated: Jan 04, 2010 14:09 IST
AFP
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Heavy snow grounded dozens of planes at major airports in South Korea on Monday and caused havoc in the centre of the country including the capital Seoul, officials said.

The weather office said it issued a heavy snow alert for Seoul and surrounding areas, where just over 17 centimetres (almost seven inches) of snow fell in just four hours.

Gimpo airport in Seoul, a hub for South Korea's domestic flights, was forced to cancel a total of 90 outgoing and inbound flights because of the snowfall, airport officials said.

Incheon airport, the main international airport west of Seoul, also reported four cancellations and 40 delayed flights, they said.

The snow also disrupted traffic on the streets of Seoul and other cities and roads and highways elsewhere in the country.

Some ministers were late for a cabinet meeting, which was forced to begin later than scheduled because of traffic chaos.

Snow was expected to stop falling later in the day.

The Seoul city government said it was mobilising 3,500 civil servants and 1,200 vehicles to remove snow from all major roads and streets.

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