Heavy rains, flooding leave 26 dead in South Korea

At least 26 people are dead and 10 missing after heavy rains caused flooding and landslides in South Korea, officials said Sunday, as rescue workers continued to fight to reach people trapped in a flooded tunnel.

South Korea is at the peak of its summer monsoon season, and there has been heavy rainfall for the last four days, causing a major dam to overflow.

The interior ministry reported that 26 people had been killed and another 10 were missing in the heavy downpours, mostly buried by landslides or after falling into a flooded reservoir.

Rescue workers were still struggling to reach some 15 cars trapped in a 430-meter underground tunnel in Cheongju, North Chungcheong province, the ministry said.

The tunnel was inundated Saturday morning after floodwaters swept in too quickly for the people inside to escape, according to the Yonhap news agency.

Sunday, five bodies not yet included in the official death toll were recovered from a bus submerged in the tunnel, Yonhap reported.

The majority of the casualties — including 17 of the dead and nine of the missing — were from North Gyeongsang province and were largely due to massive landslides in the mountainous area that engulfed houses with people inside.

Some of the people who have been reported missing were swept away when a river overflowed in North Gyeongsang province, the interior ministry said.

More rain is forecast through Wednesday, and the Korea Meteorological Administration has warned the weather conditions pose a “grave” danger.

South Korea is regularly hit by flooding during the summer monsoon period, but the country is typically well-prepared and the death toll is usually relatively low.

The country endured record-breaking rains and flooding last year, which left more than 11 people dead.

They included three people who died trapped in a Seoul basement apartment of the kind that became internationally known because of the Oscar-winning Korean film “Parasite”.

The government said at the time that the 2022 flooding was the heaviest rainfall since Seoul weather records began 115 years ago, blaming climate change for the extreme weather.

مقالات ذات صلة

زر الذهاب إلى الأعلى