East Asia is facing a freezing “polar vortex.” A cold snap which is sweeping across east Asia has killed more than 60 people in Taiwan. Tens of thousands of tourists are stranded at airports in South Korea due to the bad weather.
Taiwanese media has reported that the deaths are due to the sudden drop in the temperature. Many died from hypothermia and cardiac diseases. Taiwan is a subtropical country and most homes are without central heating; it faced nature’s wrath the most.
Officials in Taipei disclosed that temperature had fallen to 4 degree Celsius, which is considered the lowest in past 16 years. The extreme drop in temperature had caused shortness of breath, heart troubles, hypothermia and strokes. According to Independent the cold snap has descended as well over Korea, China, Hong Kong and Japan.
Meanwhile, the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport confirmed that around 90,300 people were stranded on the Jeju Island. The report also stated that 1,400 people were staying in the airport and that 1,200 flights were cancelled since Saturday. Seoul, the South Korean capital was hit by the lowest temperature in fifteen years. The temperature recorded on Sunday was minus 18 degrees Celsius, as reported by country’s Meteorological Administration website. The website’s historical data showed that the temperature was the lowest since January 2001 when it dropped to minus 18.6 degree Celsius.
Xinua reported that China’s national observatory renewed its orange alert amid coldest weather in decades. The National Meteorological Center (NMC), informed that the mercury fell to 10 to 13 Celsius in parts of northwest China, north China and the area between the Yellow River and Huaihe river. The temperatures in central and eastern China were 6 to 8 degrees Celsius which was lower than the average historical level.
On Monday morning the Hong Kong observatory issued a warning. It said, “temperatures on high ground remain below zero degree with icing and frost”. The temperature drop recorded on Sunday was 3.3 degree Celsius. hundreds of people, who went to see the highest peak Tai Mo Shan, were trapped there and but were soon rescued by fire-fighters. Out of them, 64 were admitted in hospital as they exhibited signs of hypothermia