Go to contents

Annual Lunar New Year`s Exodus Begins

Posted February. 13, 2010 08:54,   


With millions of Koreans heading to their hometowns across the country a day before the three-day Lunar New Year holiday yesterday, many highways across the country suffered gridlock.

The Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Ministry estimated that 2.5 million people will travel to their hometowns through the end of the holidays, up 10.1 percent from last year.

The Korea Expressway Corp. said driving from Seoul to Busan will take seven hours 40 minutes and from Busan to Seoul five hours at 2 p.m. yesterday. Traveling from Seoul to Daegu and vice versa will take five hours each.

Going down to Gwangju from Seoul will take six hours 40 minutes and from Seoul to Gwangju three hours 40 minutes. Travel to Mokpo from Seoul was estimated to take six hours 20 minutes and the opposite four hours.

The outbound 25.11-kilometer route between the Seoul tollgate and Osan Interchange Gyeongbu Expressway was congested with cars. Gridlock also occurred in the 2.44-kilometer route between the Hanam Interchange and Hanam Intersection on the Central Highway to Tongyeong, South Gyeongsang Province.

The corporation said outbound traffic will peak early today and inbound traffic late tomorrow.

Expecting that 2,152,000 people will use trains from yesterday through Monday, the Korea Railroad Corp. will add 207 trips from 2,784 last year. The high-speed rail KTX will operate 887 times and regular Saemaeul and Mugunghwa trains 2,104 times each.

The Korea Meteorological Administration forecast snow or rain through early today in most parts of the country. Clear skies are expected nationwide in the afternoon, however.

Seoul saw 6.3 centimeters of snow as of 11 a.m. yesterday; Munsan in Gyeonggi Province 7.4 centimeters; Incheon 7.6 centimeters; Daegwallyeong 81.1 centimeters; Gangneung 47 centimeters; Sokcho 26.3 centimeters; and Donghae 39.2 centimeters.

“The damage to facilities such as greenhouses are expected with heavy snow forecast in mountainous areas in Gangwon Province and North Gyeongsang Province Saturday,” a weather forecaster said. “Drivers in other areas should be cautious because roads will be slippery due to snow and cold weather.”