Seoul Floods: At Least Nine Dead After South Korean Capital Hit By Record Downpours

Published on August 10, 2022 18:45 PM by FactsWOW Team

At least nine people were killed, and thousands of homes were damaged after the South Korean capital was hit by the heaviest rain in a century.

The torrential rain reduced on Wednesday, though already-flooded areas could see an additional 300 millimeters of rain through Thursday, which may lead to further flooding and mudslides.

As per South Korea's Interior and Safety Ministry, three of those who died had been trapped in a flooded semi-basement. The ministry said some 17 others were injured and at least seven people remain missing.

On Tuesday, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed two people had been killed. One died in a landslide at a dormitory in Hwaseong, south of Seoul, while the other Chinese citizen was electrocuted during outdoor construction work during the storm.

More than 500 civilians have been evacuated since a heavy downpour lashed Seoul Monday night, with the ministry providing tents, blankets, and other aid items. Meanwhile, officials are launching cleanup and rescue services, with the fire department having rescued 145 people as of Wednesday.

According to the safety ministry, about 2,800 structures, including houses, shops, retaining walls, and other infrastructure, were damaged, though most had been repaired as of Wednesday morning.

Parts of Seoul saw up to 19.6 inches of rain as of Tuesday night. The city recorded 5.6 inches of rain per hour at one point, the highest rate since authorities began keeping records in 1907.

Photos from the city during Monday's flash floods show people wading across roads up to their thighs in water.

In some parts of Seoul, drains backed up and sent water pouring back into streets and subway stations, according to the Seoul Metro. Several stations were closed due to heavy flooding, with lines temporarily suspended Monday night.

Images of the aftermath show debris and wreckage scattered across streets; shopkeepers are trying to salvage their goods, crumbling parts of pavement, and damaged vehicles that had been swept up by floodwater.

Several regions south of the Han River were the most affected, including the wealthy, modern Gangnam district, where some buildings and stores were flooded and lost power.

Yoon Suk Yeol, President of South Korea, condoled the victims on Tuesday, saying he would conduct an on-site inspection and work to prevent additional damage.

Yoon Suk Yeol also noted the need to review the country's disaster management system since extreme weather is expected to become increasingly common due to the climate crisis.

 According to the IPCC, many countries in East Asia are now experiencing more intense daily rainfall, with summer monsoons expected to grow stronger and more unpredictable as the Earth warms.

According to CNN meteorologists, more heavy downpours will continue through Thursday morning before ending Thursday afternoon.

Seoul typically averages 13.7 inches of rain in August, the wettest month there. Many locations recorded this much rainfall in just one day.

Some parts of Japan also saw downpours on Monday night, with some regions of Hokkaido reporting flooding but no injuries as of Tuesday. Officials have warned of the risk of flash floods and landslides.

What's New : People