Seoul, South Korea –
Heavy rain has pelted South Korea’s capital region, turning the streets of Seoul’s affluent Gangnam district into rivers, flooding vehicles and overwhelming public transportation. At least eight people were killed and six others were missing.
Commuters slowly returned to work Tuesday morning after emergency crews worked through the night to clear up much of the mess. However, there are concerns about further damage as torrential rain is forecast for a second straight day.
While most subway services in the Seoul metropolitan area have returned to normal, dozens of roads and riverside parking are still closed due to safety concerns.
President Yoon Suk Yeol called on public and private companies to adjust their working hours, and called for active action in restoring damaged facilities and evacuating people in remote areas. hazardous areas to prevent further deaths. Moon Hong-sik, a spokesman for Seoul’s Defense Ministry, said the military is ready to deploy troops to assist with recovery efforts if required by cities or regional governments.
The rain started Monday morning and intensified into the afternoon. Nearly 800 buildings in Seoul and surrounding cities were damaged while at least 790 people were forced to evacuate their homes, the Ministry of Interior and Safety said.
People were seen wading through thigh-high waters Monday night in the streets near Gangnam subway station, one of Seoul’s busiest business and entertainment districts, where coaches, taxis and The bus got stuck in the muddy brown water. Commuters evacuate as water falls down the stairs of Isu subway station like a waterfall. In the nearby city of Seongnam, a hillside due to waning rain collapsed onto a university football field.
Rescuers were unable to reach three people who called for help before drowning in a basement house in the Gwanak district of southern Seoul on Monday night. Another woman drowned at her home in nearby Dongjak district, where a worker died while clearing a fallen tree, likely from electric shock. Choi Seon-yeong, an official with the Dongjak district office, said it was not immediately clear whether the water was electrified because of a damaged power source or the equipment the man was using.
Three people were found dead in the rubble of a landslide and a bus stop collapsed in the nearby cities of Gwangju and Hwaseong.
Four people have gone missing in the Seocho district of southern Seoul, which is also the private residence of Yoon, who, according to his office, spent hours receiving briefings and giving instructions overnight in the rain. flooded several streets near his high ground. – apartment complex.
“Heavy rainfall is expected to continue for several days… we need to maintain our vigilance and respond with all our might,” Yoon said during a visit to the government’s emergency headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. Three. He instructed officials to pay attention to areas prone to landslides or flooding and minimize the danger of damaged roads and facilities.
The country’s weather agency maintained a heavy rain warning for the Seoul metropolitan area and surrounding areas on Tuesday and said rainfall could reach 5 to 10 centimeters an hour in some areas. It said there will be about 10 to 35 centimeters of more rain across the capital region through the end of Thursday.
More than 43 centimeters of rain was measured in Seoul’s hardest-hit Dongjak district from Monday to Tuesday afternoon. Hourly rainfall in that area exceeded 14 centimeters at one point on Monday night, the highest hourly downpour measured in Seoul since 1942.
Rainstorms also hit North Korea, where authorities issued heavy rain warnings for southern and western regions of the country. North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper described the downpour as “catastrophic” and called for measures to protect arable land and prevent flooding on the Taedong River that flows through the capital Pyongyang.