Thousands of people in South Korea had to flee their homes on Friday 4 March due to a huge fire that affected the entire east coast of the country and threatened to invade even a nuclear power plant before the winds, blowing in the direction contrary, they avoided disaster.

On Friday evening, about a thousand firefighters fought fiercely against the flames to prevent them from reaching a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant near the city of Samcheok, in the province of Gangwon, in South Korea.

The fire reached the perimeter of the Hanul nuclear power plant, on the sea, forcing the operator (Korea hydro & nuclear power) to reduce operations to 50 percent. Hundreds of firefighters were deployed near the plant and kept the fire under control before the winds pushed it north towards Samcheok.

Authorities did not say how close the fires came to the plant site. Meanwhile, the president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, has ordered all efforts to be made to contain the flames.

The fire started in the morning on a mountain in nearby Uljin County and has at least 22 homes and nine other structures, according to officials from the National fire agency and Korea forest service.

Nearly 4,000 people fled their homes as the fire spread, but all but 161 later returned. There were no reports of injuries or deaths.

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