May 29, 2024

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South Korea floods: More than 26 dead and thousands evacuated due to torrential rain and landslides

Hong Kong

Twenty six people have died and thousands have evacuated their homes in South Korea due to torrential rain that has caused landslides and flash floods.

Ten others remain missing, according to the country’s Ministry of the Interior and Safety, while nine have been injured in the downpour.

The ministry said that 16 deaths were recorded the country’s in North Gyeongsang province, which sits along the eastern portion of the Korean Peninsula. Most there were killed by landslides.

Public roads, houses and farm fields have also been damaged by the severe flooding, it added.

In the South Chungcheong Province city of Nonsan, two people died Friday after their building collapsed due to a landslide, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Across South Korea, more than 5,566 people were forced to evacuate their homes and seek temporary shelter as of early Sunday, the ministry said. In addition, some 8,300 households in four provinces are experiencing power outages, according to Yonhap.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo ordered authorities to evacuate those in landslide-prone regions and to carry out rescue efforts, according to the South Korean news agency.

Last year, the South Korean capital Seoul logged record downpours that inundated homes, roads and subways, killing at least nine people.

Scientists have warned the frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall is increasing across East Asia as the human-caused climate crisis accelerates the probability of extreme weather events.

The newest round of heavy rains in South Korea come just days after devastating floods wreaked havoc in neighboring Japan, killing at least six people and injuring 19.

Torrential rain in southwestern Japan prompted the country’s weather agency to issue emergency warnings at the start of the week for the Fukuoka and Oita prefectures, on Kyushu, the country’s third largest island.

Earlier this month, heavy downpours also caused flooding in southwest China, killing at least 15 people in the city of Chongqing.