Korea flood kill 33 people
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – A storm brought heavy rains to South Korea overnight, triggeringlandslides and flooding that killed at least 33 people, government officials said Sunday.
Fourteen people were missing, including eight tourists who were swept away in rain-swollen streams in Kapyong, a camping resort 22 miles northeast of Seoul, authorities said.
“We can’t be sure yet whether there are more unaccounted casualties. We just hope there aren’t,” said Park Jong-yoon, a spokesman at the National Disaster Prevention and Countermeasures Headquarters.
South Korea’s all-news cable channel, YTN, said 36 people died and 15 were missing nationwide.
Up to 12.2 inches of rain had fallen in Seoul and Kyonggi, a populous province surrounding the capital.
The rain let up in the afternoon, but forecasters urged people in southern South Korea to brace for downpours of as much as 4.8 inches in the evening.
“Heavy rains are expected in the southern region as the seasonal rain front is moving south,” said the state Korea Meteorological Administration in a news release.
Nearly 15,000 homes in the northern part of South Korea had been flooded. By Sunday afternoon, some residents were returning to clear garbage, mud and debris from their homes.
Rivers that had risen above their banks and spilled onto roads receded, leaving overturned cars in their wake.
Three of Seoul’s seven main subway lines temporarily halted service to some stations because of flooding. One of the lines resumed full service early Sunday, and the other two were expected to be running trains to all stations by early Monday, officials said.
In Seoul, 20 people were killed, including 11 who died after being electrocuted by streetlights submerged in floodwaters, officials said. Three people died in Incheon, west of Seoul.
Among 10 people killed in Kyonggi were Ahn Tae-suk, 51, his wife Lee Jung-hee, 53, and their 14-year-old son Hyun-jin, who were found dead in their basement house, buried by a mudslide, officials said.
Disaster officials said they were working to gather details the dead or missing.
About 9,000 disaster officials have been mobilized, and 1,050 military troops have been dispatched to storm-damaged regions to deal with emergencies, the government said.
Sunday’s fatal rain came less than a month after South Korea’s worst drought in nearly 90 years.
During the March-June period, South Korea received only 3.7 inches of rain, the lowest since it began compiling meteorological records in the early 20th century. The average rainfall for the period is 11.4 inches.
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