February 7, 2023

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Heavy rain swamps the South Korean capital of Seoul, killing at least seven people

Heavy rain swamps the South Korean capital of Seoul, killing at least seven people


Seoul – At least seven people died in floods after heavy rains hit South Korea on Monday and Tuesday, including the capital, Seoul, inundating city streets and subway stations.

Pictures and videos from the Seoul metropolitan area, home to about 25 million people, showed half-submerged cars, people walking waist-deep in water and overflowing subway stations. Government officials said the seven reported deaths include a 13-year-old child stuck in the basement of a building in Seoul with two adults. Six other people are missing.

The record rainfall – which didn’t end until Tuesday morning local time – was the worst in some parts of Seoul since 1904, the year that local officials began Precipitation documentation. Rain hit about 381.5 mm (15 inches) southwest of Seoul on Monday, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration. The second largest day of rainfall was on August 2, 1920, when about 354.7 mm (14 in) fell in the capital.

One particular image sparked alarm and intrigue online: a man in a suit sits on top of a submerged car in Seoul’s upscale Gangnam district.

“There is nothing more precious than life and safety. The government will fully manage the heavy rain situation through the Central Disaster Safety Measures Headquarters,” President Yoon Suk Yeol. Wrote In a post on Facebook.

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Power outages hit some parts of the city, and residents living in low-lying areas were asked to evacuate.

The Korea Meteorological Administration issued warnings of heavy rain until Monday night across various central regions, warning that some areas would see 50 to 100 mm (1.9 to 3.9 inches) of rain per hour. It also sent heat warnings across the eastern provinces of South Korea.

Extreme rainfall events are increasing around the world due to human-caused climate change. Warmer weather is able to hold more moisture and produce more precipitation.

Joseph Hatfield, 36, a teacher in Seoul who recorded a video of flooding in Anyang, in Gyeonggi Province, south of Seoul, told The Post that he saw several people in the first floor units trying to remove water from their homes and businesses.

“The river overflows after heavy rain, but I’ve never seen it this much before, so it was very worrying,” he said, adding that levels gradually rose throughout the afternoon with rain falling into the night.