The worst yellow dust storm this year blanketed the Korean Peninsula on Sunday as winds continue to bring a thick layer of dust from the desert areas in northeastern China.
The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) posted a yellow dust advisory for five northwestern islands, as well as all central and southern provinces, including Jeju.
A preliminary advisory was issued for Seoul, Gyeonggi Province, Gangwon Province, Ulleung Island and the Dokdo islets in the East Sea in the afternoon.
The agency issues a yellow dust advisory if the hourly average dust concentration is more than 400 micrograms per cubic meter and is expected to continue for two hours. The highest-level of yellow dust warning is issued if a concentration of more than 800 micrograms per cubic meter per hour is expected to continue for two hours.
As of 2 p.m., the dust density was measured at 489 micrograms per cubic meter in Gwangju, 463 micrograms in Jeonju, 419 micrograms in Jeju and 411 micrograms in Jinju.
The density was 326 micrograms in Cheonan, 318 micrograms in Gunsan, 311 micrograms in Yeongwol and 259 micrograms in Baengnyeong Island. In Seoul, the dust level was measured at 167 micrograms, according to the agency.
The advisory is likely to be raised to the highest-level warning as winds will bring more dust clouds to the peninsula, the KMA said.
"Elderly citizens and respiratory disease patients should take special caution as the yellow dust is forecast to continue nationwide until tomorrow," a KMA official said.
Meanwhile, North Korea issued this year's first yellow dust warning on Saturday, according to a report by the Korean Central Broadcasting Station, a state-run radio service.
On Sunday, the country's official Korean Central News Agency
(KCNA) said the dust warning was in effect for the second consecutive day.
"The yellow dust was observed on the Korean Peninsula and is expected to become stronger from the afternoon, and the density was about 500 micrograms per cubic meter," the KCNA said. It did not, however, specify when and where the density was measured.
올들어 최악 황사…충남ㆍ전라에 주의보
1일 한반도 전역에서 올해 들어 가장 짙은 황사 가 찾아왔다.
기상청에 따르면 이날 오전 9시 현재 황사농도는 서울 184㎍/㎥, 수원 219㎍/㎥, 춘천 257㎍/㎥, 대관령 283㎍/㎥, 안면도 359㎍/㎥, 천안 283㎍/㎥, 추풍령 211㎍/㎥, 광주 255㎍/㎥, 진도 388㎍/㎥ 등으로 관측됐다.
기상청은 현재 충청남도와 전라남ㆍ북도, 서해 5도에 황사주의보를 발령한 상태 다.
또 서울과 경기도, 강원도, 충청북도 등에는 이날 오전, 나머지 지역에는 오후 를 기해 황사 예비특보를 내렸다.
이번 황사는 농도가 계속 짙어지면서 주의보가 경보로 강화될 가능성이 매우 높 다고 기상청은 밝혔다.
기상청 관계자는 "미세먼지 농도가 일시적으로 낮아지고 있지만, 고기압이 확장 하는 낮에 전국적으로 다시 급격히 높아질 것으로 예상된다"며 "황사가 전국적으로 내일까지 이어지겠으니 노약자나 호흡기 질환자는 건강관리에 유의해야 한다"고 당부했다.