The Korea Herald


Year’s worst yellow dust chokes Korea

By 천성우

Published : May 1, 2011 - 18:46

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The worst yellow dust storm this year covered the Korean Peninsula on Sunday as winds blew a thick layer of the dust from deserts in northeastern China.

The weather agency issued a yellow dust watch for five northwestern islands, Daejeon, Daegu, Busan, Ulsan, Gwangju, and Chuncheong, Gyeongsang and Jeolla provinces. It posted yellow dust advisories for the afternoon in Seoul, Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces, and Ulleung and Dokdo islands.

Dust particles per cubic meter in the air as of 2 p.m. Sunday were 489 micrograms in Gwangju, 463 in Jeonju, 419 in Jeju, 411 in Jinju, 326 in Cheonan and 318 in Gunsan, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.

“The yellow dust watch is very likely to be raised to a ‘warning’ as dust density continues to go up,” a KMA official said. “The dust is forecast to stay across the nation on Monday.”

The agency predicted that the level of dust particles may exceed 800 micrograms in some regions, prompting it to issue the highest-level warning. It issues the highest warning when dust concentrations in the air remain above 800 micrograms for an hour.

Weather officials recommended that elderly citizens and those with respiratory diseases take caution not to engage in outdoor activities.

By Chun Sung-woo  (