More than 30 dead in floods and landslides in South Korea


South Korean rescue workers pulled six bodies from vehicles trapped in a flooded tunnel as days of heavy rain triggered flash floods and landslides and destroyed homes, killing more than 30 people and forcing thousands to evacuate, officials said Sunday.

Nearly 400 rescue workers, including divers, searched the tunnel in downtown Cheongju where around 15 vehicles, including a bus, were swept away by a flash flood Saturday night, city fire department chief Seo Jeong-il said in a briefing.

Nine survivors were rescued from the tunnel, but the total number of passengers trapped in the vehicles is not immediately clear, Seo said.

South Korea weather
Rescue workers search for people inside a house that collapsed after a landslide caused by heavy rain in Yeongju, South Korea, Saturday July 15, 2023. (Gyeongbuk Fire Station Service Headquarters via Yonhap AP)


South Korea has been hit by heavy rains since July 9th. The rains in recent days had forced nearly 6,000 people to evacuate and left 27,260 households without electricity, while dozens of homes were flooded or destroyed, the Interior and Security Ministry said.

The bodies recovered from vehicles in Cheongju were not immediately reflected in the ministry’s official death toll, which stood at 26 as of Sunday morning.

South Korea’s weather agency said heavy rain will continue in some parts of the country. President Yoon Suk Yeol, who visited Ukraine on Saturday, urged Prime Minister Han Duck-soo to mobilize all available resources to respond to the disaster, according to Yoon’s office.

Last year, the Heaviest rainfall in 80 years Nine people died in Seoul.

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