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(LEAD) Jeju airport suspends operations due to heavy snowfall

2018/01/11 23:37

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(ATTN: UPDATES with new info; CHANGES headline, lead; RECASTS throughout)

JEJU ISLAND, South Korea, Jan. 11 (Yonhap) -- The international airport on the southern resort island of Jeju was temporarily closed again on Thursday due to heavy snow and ice, the authorities said, leaving thousands of travelers stranded and flights canceled.

Jeju International Airport banned the use of its runways 10:55 p.m. to have its workers shovel the snow and ice from the airstrips.

It is expected to reopen before midnight, according to the airport.

It was the third shutdown on the day alone, following a three-hour halt in the morning and a one-hour suspension in the evening.

Nearly 180 flights were canceled and 201 were delayed throughout Thursday, with some 4,000 people forced to stay at the airport terminal.

The temporary halts came as blizzards and cold slammed the southern part of South Korea.

Mt. Halla, the iconic central mountain of Jeju Island, got about 40.4 centimeters of snow and Seongsan, a southeastern county of the island, received 14 cm. South Jeolla Province experienced snowstorms for three days in a row.

Officials shovel the snow by a gate at Jeju International Airport on Jan. 11, 2018. (Yonhap) Officials shovel the snow by a gate at Jeju International Airport on Jan. 11, 2018. (Yonhap)

brk@yna.co.kr

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