A submerged bridge in Seoul. South Korea. The country is experiencing the worst storm in the last 80 years. Photo: REUTERS
The worst rains in the last 80 years in South Korea have left a balance of at least eight dead and six missing and caused severe flooding in the capital, as well as prompting North Korea to declare alert in the south of the country.
Numerous streets in Seoul woke up this Tuesday with a post-apocalyptic image, after many people abandoned their vehicles on the road the night before to take refuge from flash floods, which hit homes, shops and transportation infrastructure such as the subway. , among others. .
Several areas of Seoul, as well as the port city of Incheon and the province of Gyeonggi, which surround the capital, have been registered more than 100mm of rain per hour on Monday night, reaching 141 millimeters in the Dongjak district, south of the capital, where it represents the heaviest downpour since 1942.
Hundreds of people had to abandon their cars after floods hit the streets of Seoul. Photo: REUTERS
Five of the deaths occurred in the capital, where four people are still missingwhile the other three deaths recorded so far have occurred in Gyeonggi, where two are still missing due to the rains, according to the latest details collected by the local news agency Yonhap.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol moved this Tuesday to a basement apartment where a family of three died after having chaired an emergency meeting to coordinate a response that minimizes damage in the face of the rains forecast for these days.
Another of those who died in the capital was electrocuted while doing cleaning work after a tree fell due to rain.
The volume of rainfall accumulated in Seoul at 8:00 local time was 442mm, according to the South Korean Meteorological Agency, which predicts more rainfall in the region, which could reach 300mm as of Thursday.
The storms were the worst in the last 80 years. Photo: REUTERS
State media in neighboring North Korea reported this rain warning declared in the south of the country.
The alert affects North Hwanghae and South Hwanghae provinces, some southern areas of Gangwon province and the city of Kaesong, which borders South Korea, according to information provided by state television KCTV.
The North Korean broadcaster said so rain is expected between 60 and 80 millimeters in those regions.
North Korean state media broadcast images showing the Taedong River, which flows through Pyongyang, overflowing from its banks and flooding several riverside walks in the capital.
Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol (center) inspects a sunken house in Seoul. Photo: EFE
the state newspaper Rodong Sinmun For his part, on Tuesday he published an article talking about “adverse weather conditions with frequent rains” in the region, with a message from the leader, Kim Jong-un, for farmers, and an invitation to take preventive measures to avoid damage. to crops and others.
The gates of a large dam in the western port city of Nampho are underway mounted to prevent overflow of the Taedong River damaging the fields and even the country’s mines are being inspected to prevent floods and collapses, the newspaper added.
Pyongyang did not specifically say whether it had suffered damage or casualties.
Unusual showers too hit the transportation network in South Koreaespecially in the area of the capital and its surroundings.
People walk through a flood-affected street in Seoul. Photo: REUTERS
Eight tracks were flooded, causing the temporary suspension of several sections of railways and subway lines, such as Seoul Metro Line 4 and the Gyeonggi Line, which connects Seoul and Incheon.
Some 80 road sections across the country have been closed for safety reasons, including some on the Olympic and Dongbu expressways, as well as three underground roads and 26 riverside parking lots.
Entry to 156 hiking trails in five mountain national parks, including Mount Bukhan, remained banned, at least eight commercial ferry routes have suspended their services.
The authorities asked for it caution for avalanche danger in wooded areas due to the softening of the soil.