Heat Wave Taking Toll on Nation's Crops, Power Grid
It's been almost 20 days since scorching hot temperatures began plaguing Korea, and the nation's farmland is drying up.
The first heat wave warning was issued late last month, and since then only 7 millimeters of rain had fallen through Monday, which is just 6 percent of the average annual precipitation.
Farmlands across the country are now operating under the most severe drought level, which includes crop losses and water shortages.
Due to the lack of supply, prices of green leafy vegetables have surged.
The price of spinach had jumped 120 percent as of yesterday compared to the previous month, and the prices of spring onions and red chili peppers increased by 40 percent.
And according to the agriculture ministry, some 840-thousand livestock have died from the sweltering heat.
The nation's power supply is also at risk, due to surging electricity consumption.
The state-run power distributor issued a power shortage warning of "code yellow" for two consecutive days on Monday and Tuesday.
"Code yellow" is the second-level of the four warning levels, and is issued when reserves level stay below the 3-million kilowatt mark for over 10 minutes.
Monday's warning was the first since a nationwide blackout last September.
The power reserves level dipped below three-million kilowatts on two separate occasions in the past two days, far below the normal level of four-million kilowatts.
Fortunately, there is hope on the horizon.
Weather forecasters expect the heat wave to die down soon, as high atmospheric pressure from the North Pacific is expected to weaken.
[Reporter : Heo Seung-ha, email@example.com
] "The Korea Meteorological Administration says rainfall is forecast over the weekend, which will bring down highs to around 30 degrees Celsius.
Heo Seung-ha, Arirang News."
Reporter : firstname.lastname@example.org