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Restoration efforts progress on Yeonpyeong Island

All Headlines 11:34 November 25, 2010

YEONPYEONG ISLAND, South Korea, Nov. 25 (Yonhap) -- Residents, civil servants and engineers stepped up their cleanup and recovery efforts on Yeonpyeong Island on Thursday, where North Korea's artillery attack destroyed dozens of buildings and cut off power.

While most of the island's 1,700 residents had evacuated to the nearby port city of Incheon for safety, a few hundred remained to join government efforts to repair the damage.

Local officials said a total of 22 buildings, mostly civilian houses, were hit by the shells or destroyed by ensuing fires after Tuesday's attack. Two civilians, both men in their 60s who were working on a construction site for the Marines, were found dead Wednesday, bringing the number of victims to four.

Officials and engineers of Ongjin County, which has jurisdiction over the island, were visiting villages to grasp the scope of the damage in detail and make a rough estimate of recovery costs.

"The water supply was normalized yesterday afternoon. For food, Red Cross workers started supplying free meals for residents this morning," a local official said.

Mobile communications services have been recovered, but fixed phone lines have yet to be reconnected. The state-run power company KEPCO dispatched a team of engineers to restore electric power facilities for civilians and military outposts on the island.

hkim@yna.co.kr
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