More than 80,000 people were stranded on the South Korean resort island of Jeju on Monday after the biggest snowfall in three decades shut the airport for the third straight day.

Known as the Hawaii of South Korea for its beaches and usually warm climate, Jeju took the brunt of a week-long cold snap that brought record low temperatures.

The popular holiday destination has recorded its heaviest snowfall in three decades since Saturday as the temperature dropped to - 6.1C (21F).

Travellers sleep at the snowed-in Jeju airport, South Korea | Source: AFP

The transport ministry said Jeju international airport would remain closed until at least 8pm on Monday due to heavy snow and strong winds.

Close to 1,100 flights were cancelled over the weekend and Monday, stranding some 86,000 frustrated travellers on the island, a ministry official said.

Thousands were forced to spend the night at the airport, bundled up in blankets and sleeping on cardboard boxes to avoid the freezing floors.

Although it was spared any snowfall, the capital, Seoul, recorded its coldest day in 15 years on Sunday when the temperature fell to -18C.

On Saturday the state weather agency issued a cold wave warning for Seoul for the first time in five years.


Feature image source: AFP