9 dead, 7 missing in record rainfall in S.Korea

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Seoul, Aug 10 : Nine people have been confirmed dead and seven others remain unaccounted for in this week's record rainfall that battered Seoul and South Korea's central and eastern regions, officials said on Wednesday, adding that more than 2,500 homes and buildings were flooded. A total of 525 mm of rain pounded Seoul from Monday to Wednesday morning, while Yangpyeong, 45 km east of the capital, recorded an accumulated 526.2 mm of rain during the period, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA). Nine people were killed -- five in Seoul, three in Gyeonggi and one in Gangwon -- while seven others went missing, four of them from Seoul and the three others from Gyeonggi, and 17 were injured, according to government data. A total of 2,676 houses and buildings were inundated, most of them in Seoul, reports Yonhap News Agency. About 570 people from 398 households, mostly from the wider Seoul area, have been displaced, which left them staying at local schools and gyms. A further 1,253 people from 724 households across the country have temporarily evacuated, officials said. The three-day downpours also left many public facilities out of service, with six cases of flooded railroads reported in the wider Seoul area, and caused temporary suspension of services in sections of some railway and subway lines. Much of the disrupted public services were back on track as of Wednesday, including the operation of the Seoul Subway Line. Authorities, however, closed sections of some highways in Seoul as of Wednesday morning, including the Olympic and Gangbyeon Northern highways that directly run through the city. The KMA said it has lifted the downpour warning in the wider Seoul area and Incheon, west of Seoul, as of early Wednesday. The agency, however, maintained a heavy rain warning for Chungcheong province in the central region, where precipitation may reach between 50 and 80 mm per hour. Meanwhile, President Yoon Suk-yeol apologised to the nation on Wednesday morning after widespread criticism that the capital city lacks adequate flood control measures. He said the government must come up with fundamental measures to respond to similar events in the future even while carrying out emergency restoration work and assisting victims. /IANS




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