A massive wildfire that broke out in South Korea’s eastern coastal county of Uljin forced President Moon Jae-in to order all-out efforts to protect the nearby Hanul Nuclear Power Plant on Friday, March 4, 2022.
The government issued a natural disaster alert after a wildfire broke out in the county of Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province on Friday, about 10 km (6.2 miles) from the Hanul Nuclear Power Plant.1
“Place the top priority on preventing casualties and put every possible effort into swiftly putting out the fire,” Moon told officials after being briefed on the wildfire.
Dozens of helicopters and about 1 000 firefighters were sent to the scene to contain the blaze and prevent it from spreading to the power plant.2
The fire reached the perimeter of the utility, forcing the operator to reduce operations to 50%, but the plant has sustained no damage so far, according to the Korea Forest Service.
“We have formed a line of defense there,” a forest service official said on TV, referring to the perimeter of the plant. “We are not seeing any big damage near the nuclear plant area as of now.”
Later in the day, winds drove the fire northward toward Samcheok.
At least 22 homes and 9 other buildings were destroyed.
About 4 000 residents were evacuated early Friday morning, but most of them returned by the end of the day.
1 S.Korea’s Moon orders protection of nuclear power plant amid wildfire – Reuters
2 South Korea scrambles to put out wildfire near nuclear power plant – Kyodo
Featured image credit: Korea Wildfire Service
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