Many citizens were trapped in highways and other places due to 88 centimeters of heavy snow in Gangwon on Monday and Tuesday. Some point out that the government’s response to it, including inadequate snow-removing work, was one of the factors that intensified the confusion. It was similar to what happened in Gangnam after a heavy fall of snow on January 6.
According to relevant sources including the Korea Meteorological Administration, a weather warning for snow was issued in Gangwon at around 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Up to 50 centimeters of snow was forecasted in the region at 4:20 a.m. on Sunday as well. The weather forecasts were sent to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, Gangwon Province, Korea Expressway Corporation and other entities in real time.
But calcium chloride was sprayed on the Seoul-Yangyang and Seoul-Donghae highways as late as at 10:00 a.m. It was around 2:00 p.m. when 166 snowplows arrived. A significant amount of snow had been already piled on the highways which were crowded by cars heading to Seoul. It was around 4:30 p.m. that the Korea Expressway Corporation controlled access to the highways to remove snow.
Just like the snow crisis in Seoul, a belated dispatch of snowplows did not fix the situation. The highways were congested, and it was hard to arrive at the scene on time. The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters announced that one person was killed and 94 were injured in 53 traffic accidents as of 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday. “Most of the cars were not winterized and they rushed at once, which made the work difficult, explained the Korea Express Corporation.
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