Thu, 07 Dec 2023

SEOUL, South Korea: With forecasters warning of more rainfall, record downpours flooded homes, roads and subway stations in the South Korean capital throughout the week in Seoul.

To date, nine have died and officials report many remain missing

According to South Korea's Interior and Safety Ministry, three of those who died were trapped in a flooded semi-basement, while some 17 others were injured and at least seven people remain missing.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs also confirmed that two Chinese citizens were among those who died.

Since heavy rain fell on Seoul early in the week, more than 500 people have been evacuated. Also, the fire department reports having rescued 145 people.
According to the safety ministry, some 2,800 structures, including houses, shops, retaining walls and other infrastructure, were damaged, though most were repaired by the end of the week.

Officials note that up to 19.6 inches of rain fell on parts of Seoul, and at one point, the city recorded 5.6 inches of rain per hour, the highest rate since record keeping began in 1907.

According to the Seoul Metro, drains backed up and sent water pouring back into streets and subway stations in some parts of the city.

Worst affected were several areas south of the Han River, including the wealthy, modern Gangnam district, where some buildings and stores were flooded and lost power.

Earlier, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol sent his condolences to the victims, stating he would conduct an on-site inspection and work to prevent additional damage.

He also highlighted the need to review the country's disaster management system, as extreme weather is expected to become more common due to climate change.

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