Seoul floods: Record rainfall kills at least 9 people in South Korean capital as water inundates buildings and submerges cars

South Korea’s Interior and Security Ministry said three of the dead were trapped in a flooded semi-basement. Nine other people were injured and at least seven people are still missing, the ministry said.

Since midnight Monday local time, parts of Seoul have seen a total of 422 millimeters (16.6 inches) of rain, prompting authorities to issue the highest Level 3 emergency alert. The city recorded 141.5 millimeters (5.6 inches) of rain per hour – the highest rate since authorities began keeping records.

More rounds of heavy rain are expected to pass through Seoul through Thursday, which could lead to additional flash flooding in the region.

Heavy rain warnings are in effect for the metropolitan area and Gangwon-do, where rainfall of 50 to 100 millimeters (2-4 inches) per hour is possible, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.

Photos from across the city during Monday’s flash floods show people crossing roads thigh-deep in water.

A vehicle is damaged on the sidewalk after floating in heavy rain in Seoul, South Korea, on August 9.

Although floodwaters had largely receded Tuesday morning, cars and buses were left strewn across roads and sidewalks, stalling morning traffic.

In parts of Seoul, sewers backed up and returned water to streets and subway stations, according to Seoul Metro. A number of metro stations were closed due to flooding, with lines temporarily suspended on Monday evening. Tuesday morning, the authorities were still working on the reopening of the stations.

Several areas south of the Han River were the hardest hit, including the wealthy and modern Gangnam district, where some buildings and shops were flooded and lost power.

Flood in Seoul, South Korea during heavy rain on August 8, 2022.

Authorities said around 800 residents were evacuated to schools and gymnasiums or voluntarily sought refuge in local community centers as flooding affected more than 700 homes and shops.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol sent his condolences to the victims on Tuesday, saying he would conduct an on-site inspection and work to prevent further damage.

He also stressed the need to review the country’s disaster management system as extreme weather conditions are expected to become increasingly common due to the climate crisis.

Vehicles submerged in heavy rain block a road in Seoul, South Korea, on August 9.

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 become stronger and more unpredictable as the Earth warms. warms up.

More torrential rains will hit Seoul on Tuesday evening and continue through Thursday morning before ending Thursday afternoon, according to CNN meteorologists.

Already flooded areas could see an additional 300 millimeters (11.8 inches) of rain, which could worsen flooding and mudslides.

Seoul typically averages 348 millimeters (13.7 inches) of rain in August, the wettest month of the year there. Several places recorded as much precipitation in a single day.

parts of Japan also saw downpours on Monday evening, with parts of Hokkaido reporting flooding – but no injuries on Tuesday. Authorities have warned of the risk of flash floods and landslides.

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