South Korea records its heaviest rainfall in 115 years

South Korea records its heaviest rainfall in 115 years

On August 9, 2022, part of the main street near the Han River in Seoul will be flooded due to historic rains that have swept the country since Monday. On August 9, 2022, part of the main street near the Han River in Seoul will be flooded due to historic rains that have swept the country since Monday. PARK DONG-JU / AP

South Korea’s toll is growing: Nine people died and seven others are missing after record rainfall flooded main roads, subway stations and homes, authorities said on Wednesday, August 10.

The downpours that began Monday are the heaviest since meteorological observations were first made in South Korea 115 years ago, according to President Yoon Seok-youl, who apologized for the “inconvenience”.

“There are a total of sixteen victims, including nine dead and seven missing,” said an Interior Ministry official interviewed by Agence France-Presse. In all, nearly 600 people in various capacities have been directly affected, he added, and many have been forced to flee their homes.

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Three people trapped in their home

According to the ministry, of the nine people who lost their lives, three were stuck in their flooded banjiha – cramped basement apartments like the one the family lives in in Bong Joon’s Parasite. According to local media, it is a teenager, his mother and his aunt.

Another person died moving a fallen tree on the sidewalk, possibly electrocuted. A landslide buried the home of another victim in mountainous Gangwon province.

Seoul’s upscale Gangnam neighborhood was particularly hard hit, with parked cars partially submerged. Earlier this week, images circulated on social media of people walking in waist-deep water and submerged subway stations.

Seoul residents walk on a section of damaged road near a subway station in Seoul on Tuesday, August 9, 2022. Seoul residents walk on a damaged stretch of road near a subway station in Seoul, Tuesday, August 9, 2022. KIM JU-SUNG/AP

The Korean president acknowledged that South Koreans had “suffered a lot of harm” and called for special attention to be given to the most disadvantaged at a government meeting. “People with financial or physical difficulties are bound to be more vulnerable to natural disasters,” he said. Mr. Yoon has been criticized for not going to the government emergency call center when it began to rain.

According to local media, his absence was due to flooding around his home, but his services denied that explanation, assuring that he decided to stay at home because his team was already handling the situation.

General view of Han River Park Bridge in Seoul flooded by torrential rains on August 10, 2022.  General view of the Han River Park Bridge in Seoul which was inundated by torrential rain August 10, 2022. KIM HONG-JI/ Portal

The world with AFP