At Least 9 Dead As Record Rainfall Causes Massive Floods In Seoul
Since midnight on Monday (8 Aug), the city of Seoul, South Korea has been experiencing record levels of rainfall.
The downpour has led to massive floods across the area, displacing hundreds and leaving many dead or missing.
In response, South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol has vowed to oversee the situation until the very end to make sure that no further damage will be done.
16 people confirmed dead or missing in Seoul floods
According to Yonhap News Agency, a total of 525mm of rain fell in Seoul from Monday (8 Aug) to Wednesday (10 Aug).
The Dong-a Ilbo notes that this is the heaviest rate of rainfall ever recorded since weather forecasting began in South Korea in 1907, 115 years ago.
Photos show the level of destruction of the floods, which have submerged roads, homes, and subway stations.
Citing government data, Yonhap News Agency reports that sixteen people have been confirmed dead or missing as of Wednesday morning.
Nine of them were killed while seven others remain missing. There are also 17 who sustained injuries.
In addition, the flood has displaced almost 600 people, who are now seeking shelter in schools and gyms. More than 1,200 people across the country have also been temporarily evacuated.
Both upscale districts like Gangnam and less affluent neighbourhoods were badly affected.
One image that went viral shows a man sitting on top of his car in the middle of raging floodwaters in Gangnam.
Another particularly heart-wrenching picture shows a small basement apartment, much like the one in the film ‘Parasite’, with broken windows, still surrounded by debris and floodwater.
According to BBC, the subterranean unit’s three inhabitants – two women in their 40s and a 13-year-old girl – drowned when the flat was submerged.
Most public services back in operation
By early Wednesday, most public services that were disrupted by the floods resumed operations, Yonhap News Agency reports.
However, some highway sections in Seoul remain closed.
The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) also lifted downpour warnings in the Seoul and Incheon areas. A heavy rain warning for the central Chungcheong Province is still in place.
On Tuesday (9 Aug), president Yoon took to Facebook to relay his condolences to the victims of the flood.
He added that the government will focus on recovery and damage support efforts, and inspect vulnerable residential regions to ensure adequate safety measures are in place.
President Yoon also declared that he will shoulder the responsibility for the current situation until the end so that additional harm can be prevented.
May the deceased rest in peace
Singaporeans love travelling to Seoul and have made wonderful memories there, so seeing these horrific images must be shocking to many.
Hopefully, those who are missing will be found safe and sound. We also hope that those who were displaced will be able to return home soon.
But most of all, we hope and pray that such a horrifying natural disaster will not strike again anytime soon — both in Korea and beyond.
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