Rainfall leaves 9 dead and 6 missing By Ko Dong-hwan
Record-breaking rains hit much of the Seoul metropolitan area on Monday and Tuesday, leaving nine people dead and six missing. The rain flooded and destroyed roads and subway stations, causing landslides, clogging groundwater drainage systems and forcing the evacuation of people living in low-lying areas.
According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, South Korea’s central weather monitoring agency, this was the largest hourly rainfall recorded in the metropolitan area in the past 80 years. Seoul’s Dongjak district was hit by the city’s heaviest rainfall, with 422mm of rain on Monday alone.
So far precipitation for Monday and Tuesday is roughly on par with the average precipitation for the entire month of July. On the same day, 200-400mm of rain fell in Yeoju-gun, Gwangju-gun, Yangpyeong-gun, Gangwon-do, Hoengseong-gun and Hongcheon-gun, Gyeonggi Province.
Damage is visibly worse in the southern districts of Seoul, Dongjak, Seocho and Gangnam, where the terrain is lower than the rest of the city. When the rain briefly stopped for several hours on Tuesday morning, rainwater ran down the area’s roads and empty cars littered the roads and curbs. Drivers stranded in the previous day’s floods had to abandon their cars and evacuate. Some of the wrecked vehicles blocked the path of cars and buses on Tuesday morning, causing a traffic jam.
The dramatic scene of the shipwreck was photographed, described in text messages, and shared online. Some said they had to walk home after leaving their car on the flooded road. Some said they saw people getting out of their flooded cars and onto the streets looking for alternative means of escape.
On Monday, an official on the night shift at the Seoul Central Prosecutor’s Office in Seocho District said he had never seen such a severe flood in his 30 years of service. Police said tow trucks began clearing streets littered with flooded vehicles on Tuesday morning.
An unprecedented amount of continuous rainfall also affected subway stations. The ceiling of the platform of Lisu Station in Dongjak District collapsed, causing heavy rains and ceiling tiles to fall onto the platform. The underground levels of several other subway stations in the city were also flooded, forcing trains in operation to pass through the flooded stations and people inside the stations to seek other means of transportation. A fatality has occurred.
A three-seater SUV was caught in a sudden landslide on a mountain highway in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province. Rescue workers found the driver dead at the scene of the accident and took the other survivors to the hospital. In Gwanak, another district south of Seoul, a sinkhole in an adjacent street flooded Monday night, stranded a family of three, one of whom had a developmental disability, who lived in a basement apartment.
The family called an ambulance, but they all died before they could reach the scene. A Dongjak-gu office worker in his 60s also died while inspecting a fallen tree on the road due to heavy rain. Police concluded that he was electrocuted.
Hundreds of residents in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi evacuated from their homes on Monday. A retaining wall in Jung-gu, Incheon, collapsed, forcing 34 people from 12 neighboring households to leave their homes. In Dongjak and Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi Province, more than 270 people from 165 households evacuated from their flooded homes to local community centers.
Her 163 residents of her 107 households in the metropolitan area (Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi Province) were also evicted and forced to remain in local schools and high schools. 4,444 bridges, highways and roads were paralyzed and the disaster created sinkholes that flooded them and swept away trees, mud, rocks and other broken infrastructure materials along with piles of rubble. As of Tuesday morning, five sections of the Seoul highway were closed. In Gyeonggi Province, 25 sections of roads were closed.
Heavy rains are expected to continue for the rest of the week, according to weather forecasters, and there are fears of further impacts across the country. Rain clouds are mostly concentrated in southern Gyeonggi Province, with at least 350mm of precipitation expected by Thursday. An additional 100-300mm of rain is expected in the rest of the metropolitan area by Friday.
President Yoon Suk-yeol’s first assignment on Tuesday was to review the country’s central disaster monitoring and control center at the government building in Seoul, where he chaired an emergency meeting with heads of relevant government departments. rice field. He ordered public roads to be closed in advance in hard-hit areas to minimize casualties.
He also called on rescue workers and local officials to stay safe during this emergency. He also reminded them to pre-emptively evacuate residents of vulnerable areas at high risk of landslides. We held another emergency meeting at the same venue. The alert level of the disaster countermeasure tower was raised from level 2 to level 3, and the flood damage level nationwide was raised from alert to serious.