Seoul, South Korea
At least nine people were killed after torrential rains in Seoul on Monday flooded homes, roads and subway stations, knocked out power and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people, officials said.
South Korea’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Security said three of the dead were trapped in a flooded semi-basement. The ministry said that 9 more people were injured and at least 7 people were missing.
As of midnight local time on Monday, parts of Seoul saw a total of 422 millimeters (16.6 inches) of rain, prompting authorities to raise the highest Level 3 emergency alert. The city recorded 141.5 millimeters (5.6 inches) of rain per hour – the highest since officials began keeping records.
Additional heavy rain is forecast to continue in Seoul until Thursday, which could bring additional flooding to the region.
A heavy rain warning is in effect for the capital area and Gangwon-do, where 50 to 100 millimeters (2 to 4 inches) of rain per hour are possible, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.
Photos from across the city showed people wading through roads up to their thighs in Monday’s floods.
Although the floodwaters had receded considerably by Tuesday morning, cars and buses were scattered on roads and pavements, disrupting morning traffic.
According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, drains have been restored in some parts of Seoul and water has flooded streets and subway stations again. On Monday night, a number of subway stations were closed due to flooding, and lines were temporarily suspended. As of Tuesday morning, officials were still working to reopen the stations.
Several areas south of the Han River were hardest hit, including the affluent, modern Gangnam district, where some buildings and shops were flooded and power was lost.
About 800 residents were evacuated to schools and gyms or voluntarily sought shelter in local community centers as floods damaged more than 700 homes and shops, officials said.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol sent its condolences to the victims on Tuesday and said it would conduct an on-site inspection and work to prevent further damage.
He also noted the importance of revising the country’s disaster management system as extreme weather conditions are expected to become increasingly common due to the climate crisis.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, many countries in East Asia are now experiencing more intense daily rainfall, with summer monsoons expected to intensify and increase unpredictably as the Earth warms.
According to CNN meteorologists, more heavy rain will fall on Seoul on Tuesday night and continue through Thursday morning before ending on Thursday afternoon.
Already flooded areas could see an additional 300 millimeters (11.8 inches) of rain, which could lead to more flooding and flooding.
Seoul receives an average of 348 millimeters (13.7 inches) of rain in August, which is usually the wettest month of the year. Few places have recorded so much rainfall in just one day.
parts Japan It also rained on Monday night, causing flooding in parts of Hokkaido, but no injuries were reported on Tuesday. The authorities have warned about the danger of flooding and landslides.