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(LEAD) Southern South Korea hit by devastating downpours

Politics 17:39 July 13, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details in paras 2, 8, 10, 11 and last four paras)

SEOUL, July 13 (Yonhap) -- Some 200 millimeters of rain pounded South Korea's southern areas on Monday, leaving several people dead and causing traffic accidents, flooding and destruction of roads, houses and facilities, officials said.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), 277 mm of rain fell in Sancheong of South Gyeongsang Province for one day by 2 p.m., followed by 228 mm in Buan of North Jeolla Province, 210 mm in Geoje, west of Busan, 158.2 mm in Gwangju and 160.2 mm in Daejeon.

In the southeastern province of South Gyeongsang, the per-hour precipitation reached 30 mm, while southwestern coasts, Incheon and five Yellow Sea islands close to the North Korean border were put under a strong wind advisory, the agency said.

A road in Sancheong, South Gyeongsang Province, is closed to traffic on July 13, 2020, after being hit by a landslide caused by heavy rain, in this photo provided by the provincial government. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

In Hamyang of South Gyeongsang, 330 kilometers southeast of Seoul, two men -- a farmer and an excavator engineer -- were found dead Monday morning after being swept away by rapids while conducting irrigation-ditch repair work.

Another two men, both in their 50s, were rescued after falling in a river while fishing in a boat in Hapcheon of South Gyeongsang.

In Daegu, 300 km southeast of Seoul, a 64-year-old man died after falling off a five-meter cliff while descending a mountain amid heavy downpours Sunday afternoon.

A pileup of five cars, including a 25-ton cargo truck and an SUV, occurred on a section of the Seoul-Busan expressway in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province, at around 7:33 a.m. amid heavy rain, killing the SUV driver and injuring two, including the truck driver.

An SUV crashed into a guardrail on the Namhae Expressway at 9:30 a.m. after skidding on a slippery road. The crash resulted in no casualties but caused traffic congestion.

A residential area in Gwangju remains flooded after heavy downpours in the southwestern city in this photo provided by a resident. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Flooding and destruction of roads, houses and farming facilities were also reported across the southern areas.

In South Jeolla Province, nine houses were flooded, while Gwangju reported floodings of five houses and a farm road. In Muan, near Gwangju, 357 hectares of rice fields were flooded.

In Busan, battered by 120 mm of rain and strong winds, part of an ancient fortress collapsed, one house was destroyed, many street trees were broken, several riverbed roads were inundated and seven roads were closed to traffic due to flooding.

The southeastern port city was soaked by over 70 mm of rain per hour last Friday, resulting in the flooding of dozens of houses and about 170 vehicles.

In Gimje, North Jeolla Province, a motorist was rescued by emergency service workers after his car got stuck on a flooded road.

In nearby Jeonju, a funeral parlor and KT buildings suffered flood damage.

"The rainy season began on Jeju Island on June 10 and in the southern and central regions on June 24. Generally, the wet season ends in those areas in late July, though the exact period differs from region to region. The current pressure chart indicates the previous pattern is expected to repeat this year," said a KMA official.

The agency said it lifted its heavy rain advisory for most southern areas, but more rain is expected for southwestern areas until Tuesday afternoon, with cumulative precipitation expected to top 300 mm. It also forecast heavy rain for eastern coastal areas in Gangwon Province between late Monday night and early Tuesday morning.

In addition, authorities issued a landslide advisory for six southern areas -- Goseong, Namhae, Hamyang, Sancheong, Geoje and Geochang.

ycm@yna.co.kr
(END)

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