South Korean President Moon Jae In instructed officials on Friday to swiftly put out a wildfire that broke out near a nuclear power plant on the country's eastern coast.
The wildfire, which occurred in the Uljin area of North Gyeongsang Province in the morning, came close to the Hanul nuclear power station at one point, but the plant has sustained no damage so far, according to the Korea Forest Service.
"Place the top priority on preventing casualties and put every possible effort into swiftly putting out the fire," Moon told officials after being briefed on the wildfire, according to presidential spokeswoman Park Kyung Mee.
The president also called for measures to ensure the plant's safety.
Dozens of helicopters and hundreds of firefighters were sent to the scene to contain the blaze and prevent it from spreading to the power plant. The wildfire had originated in an area about 10 kilometers out.
"We have formed a line of defense there," a forest service official said on TV, referring to the perimeter of the plant. "We are not seeing any big damage near the nuclear plant area as of now."
The operator of the multireactor power plant reduced the output there following the wildfire. About 4,000 residents were evacuated to public facilities.
The operator said the plant sustained no damage and reactors remained in operation, adding it plans to bring the output back up once it can ascertain the safety of power transmission lines.
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