SOUTH KOREA: In South Korea, a record-breaking overnight downpour that turned streets into rivers, submerged cars, and flooded metro stations has claimed at least seven lives.
According to a local news source, rainfall of more than 100mm per hour was recorded on Monday night in Seoul, the neighbouring areas of Gyeonggi Province, and the port city of Incheon.
The Dongjak area experienced the highest hourly downpour in Seoul in 80 years at one point, with precipitation exceeding 141.5mm per hour.
After cleanup crews worked through the night on Tuesday, commuters gradually made their way back to work. Still, there were worries about additional damage because torrential rain was predicted for the second straight day.
The metropolitan area surrounding the capital, as well as portions of Gangwon and Chungcheong province, were all given heavy rain warnings by the Korea Meteorological Administration.
It stated that it anticipated the country’s central area to have severe rain through at least Wednesday.
As of Tuesday morning, seven individuals were reported missing, according to authorities. Pictures posted on social media showed people wading through waist-deep water, crowded metro stations, and submerged cars in the upscale Gangnam neighbourhood.
Three individuals, including a 13-year-old, are said to have perished in the Gwanak area of southern Seoul when their semi-basement banjiha flat, which is similar to the one seen in the Oscar-winning film Parasite, was flooded by floodwater.
In the nearby city of Gwangju, two bodies of persons were discovered in the rubble of a bus station that had collapsed amid a landslide.
Yoon Suk-yeol, the nation’s president, ordered the evacuation of people from dangerous locations and urged companies to change the commute times for their workers.
“Nothing is more precious than life and safety,” Yoon wrote on his Facebook page. “The government will thoroughly manage the heavy rain situation.”
While the majority of the subway services in the Seoul metropolitan region had returned to normal on Tuesday, roughly 80 highways and dozens of riverside parking spaces were still closed out of caution.
Although torrential downpours are common in South Korea throughout the summer, a meteorological agency official claimed that the climate emergency has led to a dramatic rise in precipitation.
Rainstorms also pounded North Korea, where authorities issued heavy rain warnings for the southern and western parts of the country.
Official Rodong Sinmun daily urged action to protect agriculture and stop flooding on the Taedong river, which runs through Pyongyang’s capital, and described the rain as possibly “disastrous.”