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Damage from heavy rain continues to grow in S. Korea

All News 11:22 August 04, 2020

SEOUL, Aug. 4 (Yonhap) -- Damage from heavy rain that pounded the country's central region earlier this week continued to grow, leaving 12 dead and 14 missing as of Tuesday.

More than 1,000 were forced to leave their homes, while some 5,751 hectares of farm land were swamped or buried as of 6 a.m., according to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters.

Most recently, six deaths were reported in Pyeongtaek and Gapyeong, both in Gyeonggi Province, as landslides engulfed a makeshift workplace and a mountainside accommodation.

Six people were reported missing, including a man in his 60s who got swept away by water while driving a truck in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province.

A total of 1,025 people from 629 households fled their homes. More than half of them were in North Chungcheong Province, followed by 391 in Gyeonggi, 70 in Gangwon and nine in Seoul.

Property damage continued to snowball, with 1,483 private assets and 1,475 public facilities suffering damage from the downpour.

Jamsu Bridge, which links Seoul's southern and northern parts over the Han River, is partially submerged following heavy rain on Aug. 3, 2020. (Yonhap)

Around one-third of the damage was reported at houses, while damage was also reported at warehouses, agricultural plastic houses and cattle sheds, according to the government.

Public facilities, such as roads and bridges, railways and water reservoirs were also destroyed.

Authorities completed restoring more than half of the damaged properties, with more than 25,000 police and fire authorities as well as volunteers mobilized.

But some roads and railways -- 43 roads and six railway routes including the Chungbuk, Taebaek and Yeongdong lines -- remained suspended.

An official uses an excavator to restore a road covered by soil following a landside in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province, on Aug. 4, 2020. (Yonhap)

In Seoul, most riverside roads that had entry restricted as water levels rose were back in operation, with the exception of Jamsu Bridge, which links the capitals' southern and northern parts over the Han River.

Trekking routes at 10 national parks, including Mount Bukhan, Taebaek and Songni, as well as 16 underpasses and 92 parking lots adjacent to streams and rivers, remained under restriction.

President Moon Jae-in is set to hold an emergency meeting in the afternoon on countering the recent damage.

In a Cabinet meeting earlier in the day, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun ordered the disaster agency to review declaring damaged areas as special disaster zones.

Chung also urged officials to "strictly deal (with the situation) and work to minimize damage, with a focus on preventing deaths."

This photo, provided by Korea Rail Road Corp., shows company officials visiting Samtan Station on the Chungbuk Line in North Chungcheong Province on Aug. 4, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE)

mlee@yna.co.kr
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