Seoul, Aug 2 (efe-epa).- Torrential rain that lashed central South Korea on Sunday caused flooding and landslides that have left at least five dead and seven missing, and forced the closure of roads and railway lines.
In Chungju, about 100 kilometers southeast of Seoul, two landslides, including one which sparked a gas explosion, killed two women aged 56 and 76, while authorities were searching for a 29-year-old firefighter who had been standing next to a stream to check swollen waters when the ground collapsed and he fell in, Yonhap agency reported.
Rescuers are also looking for two people in this municipality who disappeared when they were fishing.
In addition, about 120 residents were forced to evacuate after flooding affected some 80 houses in this town.
West of Chungju, in Eumseong, a 59-year-old man drowned in an overflowing stream, something that also happened to another 62-year-old man who remains missing in the same area.
Authorities also issued evacuation alerts for 5,000 Eumseong residents due to flood dangers.
Bordering Eumseong to the west, in Anseong a landslide ended the life of a 58-year-old farmer.
In Jecheon, just east of Chungju, a 42-year-old camper also died after being buried by a mudslide.
East of Jecheon, in Danyang, three people – a married couple and the woman’s mother – are also missing after being swept away by a torrent of water. The couple was reportedly trying to save the mother from being towed away by a flash flood while working in a field.
Three train lines in the center and east of the country were blocked due to sections flooded or buried by landslides, as well as some roads connecting the most affected municipalities, almost all of them in North Chungcheong province.
In this province and in Gyeonggi province, which surrounds Seoul and sits to the north of North Chungcheong, 60 millimeters per hour of rainfall was recorded and the Korea Meteorological Administration has placed them under the highest alert level due to the possibility of rains increasing until Monday. EFE-EPA