Devastating Floods and Landslides in South Korea: Rescue Efforts Underway to Save Trapped Victims

2023-07-16 16:31:47

At least 37 people have died and nine others are missing after heavy rains caused flooding and landslides in South Korea. Rescuers search for people trapped in a flooded underground tunnel.

A previous report reported 33 dead and ten missing.

South Korea is in the middle of the summer monsoon and heavy rains have been falling for the past four days, causing widespread flooding and landslides, as well as the overflow of a major dam.

The Interior Ministry said 33 people had been killed and ten others missing as a result of the heavy rains, most of them buried by landslides or falling into a flooded reservoir.

Hundreds of rescuers are scrambling to reach more than a dozen cars stuck in a 430-meter-long underground tunnel in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, the ministry said.

flash flood

According to the Yonhap news agency, the tunnel was submerged on Saturday morning after a flash flood flooded it too quickly for people to escape. On Sunday, seven bodies had been recovered from the tunnel and divers were taking turns day and night to search for other victims, according to the interior ministry.

The majority of the victims are from North Gyeongsang Province, a mountainous region particularly affected by landslides that engulfed houses and trapped their occupants inside.

More rain is forecast through Wednesday. South Korea is regularly hit by floods during the summer monsoon, but the country is generally well prepared and the number of victims remains relatively low.


South Korea is regularly affected by floods during the summer monsoon but the country is generally well prepared and the number of victims remains relatively low.

Last year, the country also experienced heavy rains and floods, which killed 11 people.

The government then said the 2022 rainfall was the heaviest since weather records for Seoul began 115 years ago, blaming the extremes on climate change.

Japan too

Torrential rains also claimed a victim in Japan, where a man was found dead on Sunday in a flooded car in the north of the country. Seven people had also lost their lives last week in the south-west of the country due to bad weather.

Since last weekend, a wide band of rainfall has dumped record amounts of rain in several parts of Japan, causing rivers to overflow and landslides.

The rainy front gradually moved from the south-west of the country to the north.

ats, afp

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