South Korea’s capital sees record rainfall, at least 9 killed

Seoul train station, CNN screen grab.

South Korea’s capital city of Seoul is witnessing record rainfall this week, and at least 9 people have been killed so far. Three of those were killed when they were trapped in a flooded semi-basement. About 17 other people were injured, and at least seven are still missing, according to the country’s Interior and Safety Ministry.

Since heavy rain began to hammer down on Seoul on Monday, over 500 people have been evacuated. Authorities are launching cleanup and rescue operations, and the fire department has so far rescued 145 people. About 2,800 houses, shops, and other structures had been damaged, although the ministry said most had been repaired as of today (Wednesday).

Last night, Seoul had up to 497 milimetres of rain, its highest rate since authorities began keeping records in 1907. South Korean media reported that in some parts of the capital, drains backed up and sent water pouring back into streets and subway stations.

The country’s president has since brought up the need to review South Korea’s disaster management system, as the climate crisis continues to inflict chaotic weather across the globe.

In several regions of Asia, unusually heavy flooding has been deadly. Over the past month, Pakistan has seen 133% more rain than the average for the past three decades. At least 549 people in the country have been killed by floods so far, and more than 46,200 houses have been damaged. Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok also saw a record rainfall last month.

With monsoon season raging across several countries, on top of the impact on weather from climate change, these extreme rains are probably going to be a continuing problem.


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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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