All efforts are aimed at protecting a nuclear power plant from a large-scale forest fire, South Korea

(ORDO NEWS) — A massive wildfire that broke out in the eastern coastal county of Uljin in South Korea prompted President Moon Jae-in to issue an order to take all measures to protect the nearby Hanul Nuclear Power Plant on Friday, March 4, 2022.

The government issued a disaster alert after a wildfire broke out in Uljin County, North Gyeongsang Province, about 10 km (6.2 miles) from the Hanul Nuclear Power Plant on Friday.

“The priority is to prevent casualties and make every possible effort to extinguish the fire as soon as possible,” Moon told officials after receiving information about the fire.

Dozens of helicopters and about 1,000 firefighters were sent to the scene to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading to the power plant.

The fire has reached the perimeter of the power plant, forcing the operator to cut operations by up to 50%, but the plant has not yet suffered any damage, according to the Korea Forest Service.

“We formed a line of defense there,” a forest service official said on television, referring to the station’s perimeter. “At the moment, we do not see much destruction in the area of ​​the nuclear power plant.”

Later that day, the wind drove the fire north towards Samcheok.

At least 22 houses and 9 other buildings were destroyed.

Some 4,000 residents were evacuated early on Friday morning, but most returned by the end of the day.

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