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43 Days of Monsoon Rain Devastate South Korea with Deadly Floods and Over 200 Landslides

Ann Moises

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  • In South Korea, heavy rains lasting for 43 straight days put central regions and the metropolis under water.
  • Death toll increased to 16, while 11 people are still missing.
  • Floods and landslides resulting from the cloudburst damaged thousands of infrastructures and killed many livestock.
  • With approximately 1,600 people displaced, officials set up temporary shelters and implemented safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Massive flooding and about 277 reported landslides ravaged South Korea, as heavy rains incessantly pour for 43 consecutive days—the country’s longest monsoon since August 4, 2013.

The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters has reported 16 dead and 11 still missing as of Thursday morning. In addition, approximately 1,600 people from severely affected provinces such as North and South Chungcheong, Gyeonggi, and Gangwon had to leave their homes.

There are over 5,000 houses and essential facilities, including roads and bridges, submerged or buried in landslides across South Korea.
Torrential rains left almost 8,065 hectares of farm land inundated or destroyed.

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun, prompted the Ministry of Interior and Safety to declare Gyeonggi and Chungcheong as “disaster zones.”

This would enable the said provinces to receive more aid from the national government.

Also, for the first time in three years, the Korea Water Resources Corporation opened the floodgates of two major dams on Wednesday.

According to local media, they opened Soyang Dam in Gangwon and Paldang Dam in Gyeonggi, to help drain flooded areas.

However, as Seoul’s Han River also continually rose, the police had to close sections of some major highways in the city.
Sections of Dongbu Urban Expressway, Seoul Inner Loop, Olympic – Daero, and Gangbyeon Northern Highway are among them.
President Moon Jae-in ecpressed his concern about the impact of the monsoon on emergency workers presently battling the coronavirus pandemic. Still, he urged “all-out efforts to prevent further loss of life.”
The Ministry of Interior and Safety set up temporary shelters in school gyms and community centers in Anseong.

However, in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and turning shelters into “hot spots,” they placed the tents slightly apart from each other.

Displaced residents wear masks and practice hand hygiene. Relief workers check their temperatures and screen them for any Covid-19 symptoms as well.

Meanwhile, strong winds and rain showers of up to 50 millimeters per hour are still expected on the central and southern regions of the country on Thursday and Friday.

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