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South Korea Mobilizes Massive Rescue After Record Snowfall


A South Korean army armored vehicle clears snow in Pohang, east of Seoul, February 14, 2011

A South Korean army armored vehicle clears snow in Pohang, east of Seoul, February 14, 2011

The South Korean government has deployed more than 22,000 people, including soldiers, to help eastern cities trapped in snow.

The biggest snowfall in a century has buried cities and villages in the eastern coastal part of South Korea, as the coldest winter in years gripped the peninsula. Gangwon province is the worst affected.

Yonhap news agency says 1,750 snow plows and other equipment have been mobilized to help stranded motorists and communities. Local officials say households in some remote villages remain isolated for a third day.

A number of buildings collapsed under about one meter of snow that has fallen since Friday.
Gangwon officials have reported more than $4 million worth of property damage so far. But the numbers are expected to increase after public officials gain access to more affected areas.

China's official news agency, Xinhua, reported Monday that the North Korean province of Kangwon also was hit by unusually heavy snowfall recently. Xinhua quotes North Korean official media as saying that agricultural and economic sectors in some areas of Kangwon were badly affected by the snowfall.


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