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Mayor's Hope Journal

  • Seoul’s heaviest snowfall in twelve years
    [Mayor Park Won Soon’s Hope Journal 87]

  • Mayor's Hope Journal SMG 1150

    A heavy snow fell in Seoul suddenly on Saturday afternoon and the 12,000 civil servants of Seoul City had to stay up all night to take part in snow removal activities. Seoul City established the Integrated Safety Center in the basement of the new City Hall building to direct an integrated and systematic snow removal operation.

    Through information sharing with the Korea Meteorological Administration, snowplows began working as soon as the snow began falling. It was able to see the movement and status of operation of the snowplow cars at a glance.

    A total of 938 snowplows kept moving overnight. The Capital Defense Command and the police cooperated in the work, too. Seoul City had already signed MOUs with the two organizations for disaster prevention. Some 7,110 tons of salt was used to keep the roads free of ice. We tried to use less de-icing salt during the initial stage so as not to waste such a precious resource. Seoul City is planning to develop an eco-friendly de-icing agent in the near future.

    In addition, school and office hours were adjusted, often through consultation with large companies. Though there was some confusion due to the late notification of individual schools by the education office, we announced the one-hour postponement of the school starting time through the tweet of Seoul City and me. Furthermore, we announced various countermeasures, such as asking citizens to refrain from driving on frozen roads and to use public transport as much as possible instead. At the same time, we decided to increase the number of subway trains.

    Though Seoul experienced its heaviest snowfall in twelve years, with 16.5cm of snow, there was not much confusion or damage due to the measures implemented by Seoul City. As a result, the press offered rare praise, saying, “The ‘perfect snow removal operation’ of Seoul City after the record snowfall is very noteworthy.” (Reporter Park Jeong yang, News 1). Such a compliment was a comfort for our staff members who stayed up all night working very hard.

    However, there was something more than the efforts of Seoul City. Many Seoul citizens took the trouble to sweep away the snow not only in front of their own homes but also in the alleys for their neighbors, and this helped prevent safety accidents. We will continue doing our best for the safety of Seoul citizens together with you. Thank you!

    Winter in Gwanghwanum Plaza (Source: wow Seoul artist jusinmh)