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Cold wave hits S.Korea with lowest temperature in over decade

SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- South Korea has been hit by the strongest cold wave in more than a decade, stranding tens of thousands of tourists in the southern resort island of Jeju and killing at least six people from hypothermia.

Temperature in the capital Seoul recorded a daily low of minus 18 degrees Celsius Sunday, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration. It was the coldest weather since January 2001.

The cold wave lasted Monday with a low of minus 14 degrees Celsius in Seoul, but the temperature is expected to rise Tuesday to the level as before. Cold wave warnings nationwide are set to be lifted Monday afternoon.

The entire territory of South Korea was hit hard by cold wave, heavy snow and strong winds, with wind chill factor pulling down the temperature as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius in some regions.

The Jeju Island was cut off by heavy snow for three days to Monday, leaving some 90,000 people stranded in the Jeju International Airport.

The biggest blizzard hit the resort island, with the heaviest snow in more than 30 years falling over the weekend. It resulted in the cancellation of about 1,200 flights to and from the island.

Some of sea routes were closed as strong winds and high waves banned operations to and from some of islands in the west and east coasts.

At least six people have been confirmed dead over the weekend, mainly from hypothermia.

More than 3,000 cases of water meters frozen and burst with cold spell were reported over the weekend.

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