South Korea flood death toll increases to 40, Yoon blames messed up actions By Reuters


© Reuters. SUBMIT PICTURE: South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks throughout a joint declaration with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in the middle of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine July 15, 2023. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo


By Hyonhee Shin

SEOUL (Reuters) -South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday blamed authorities’ failure to follow catastrophe action guidelines as the death toll from days of downpour increased to 40, consisting of a lots individuals discovered dead in an immersed underpass.

Deluges have actually mauled main and southern areas considering that Thursday as the rainy season that began in late June reaches its peak. The interior ministry has actually likewise reported 9 individuals missing out on and 34 hurt throughout the country.

Twelve deaths, consisting of 3 bodies discovered overnight, took place in a tunnel in Cheongju, 110km (68 miles) south of Seoul, where 16 lorries, consisting of a bus, were overloaded by a flash flood on Saturday after a river levee collapsed.

The event sustained concerns over South Korea’s efforts to avoid and react to flood damage. Some motorists who utilize the roadway routinely blamed the federal government for stopping working to prohibit access to the underpass despite the fact that floods were extensively anticipated.

Yoon, simply back from an abroad journey, on Monday assembled a catastrophe action conference and yielded the scenario was intensified due to the fact that of bad management of susceptible locations.

“We’ve repeatedly emphasised access control over dangerous areas and preemptive evacuation since last year, but if basic principles of disaster response are not kept on the spot, it is difficult to ensure public safety,” Yoon informed the conference.

Nearly 900 fire, cops and military authorities participated in the underpass rescue operation, utilizing boats, undersea drones and other devices, according to the interior ministry.

Seo Jeong-il, fire chief in west Cheongju, informed a rundown on Monday that while search efforts continued there were no indications of more victims in the staying lorries in the tunnel.

Floods have actually declared lots of lives throughout current rainy seasons as weather condition patterns have actually ended up being more severe.

The federal government in 2015 swore to take actions to much better manage environment change-induced catastrophes after the heaviest rainstorms in 115 years pounded Seoul, consisting of the flashy district of Gangnam, leaving a minimum of 14 dead and flooding trains, roadways and houses.

Yoon on Monday flew in a helicopter over some ravaged locations. Earlier, he required utmost efforts to save any staying victims and swore assistance for those impacted, consisting of designating flood-hit locations as unique catastrophe zones.

“The government will restore everything, so don’t worry too much,” Yoon stated after satisfying citizens in Yecheon in North Gyeongsang province, a location struck by landslides where 19 individuals passed away and 8 stay missing.

The scenario throughout the border in North Korea stays uncertain, however in current weeks specify media has actually reported on heavy rains and described procedures to safeguard crops in a nation that has actually struggled with major food scarcities.

At a rundown, the South’s Unification Ministry stated it had actually asked Pyongyang to inform Seoul of any strategies to launch water from its Hwanggang Dam. In 2009, the release of water from the dam led to flooding downstream that eliminated 6 South Koreans.


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