South Korea, Japan grapple with heavy snow chaos, delays

Thousands of people using train services in Kyoto and Shiga prefectures in western Japan were forced to stay overnight in carriages or stations, while vehicles on major roads across the country were left stranded and hundreds of flights cancelled, Kyodo News reported.

Air traffic returned to normal after hundreds of flights in and out of Jeju were grounded Tuesday because of strong winds and snow, stranding an estimated 40,000 travellers who had visited the resort island for the Lunar New Year holidays.

Around 540 flights, including nearly 70 that were temporarily added by transportation authorities in an emergency response, were scheduled in and out of Jeju on Wednesday alone, mostly to take passengers back to mainland cities.

The Korea Airports Corporation said the operating hours at Gimpo airport near Seoul were extended until 1am (12am, Singapore time) to accommodate the increased flights, which were expected to bring back 70 per cent to 80 per cent of the passengers who were stuck in Jeju.

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