Disasters & Accidents

At least 13 killed due to heavy rains in South Korea

Seoul, Aug 4 (efe-epa).- At least 13 people have been killed and as many were reported missing on Tuesday in South Korea due to heavy rains in the region over the past few days that also caused major damage to communication and transport systems.

The latest deaths were reported from the cities of Pyeongtaek – 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Seoul – and Gapyeong, 45 km northeast of the capital, where six people lost their lives in separate landslides.

This takes the total death toll to 13 since the weekend when powerful rainstorms began to lash the central and northern parts of the country.

Apart from 13 people being reported missing, around 1,000 people – the majority of them in the centrally located North Chungcheong province – have had to be evacuated from their houses.

More than 5,700 hectares (14,000 acres) of agricultural land have been flooded, according to data provided by the South Korean government.

A total of 44 roads have been cut off due to the damage caused by flooding and landslides, while three railway lines in the central regions have also been suspended since Sunday.

The rains have also affected Seoul, where various roads on the banks of the Han river had to be closed on Monday due to rising waters, which submerged most of the parks and cycle-routes built on the riverside.

President Moon Jae-in was set to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday afternoon to coordinate the response to the damage caused by the rains, local news agency Yonhap reported.

According to the agency, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun instructed the national disaster management authorities to consider declaring certain areas as special disaster zones.

Trekking routes in 10 national parks have also been closed due to the forecast that heavy rains could continue at least until the rest of the weak, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.

The met office said that it expected more damage due to the inclement weather. EFE-EPA


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