One missing after landslide as heavy rains batter South Korea

Seoul: Heavy rain pounded parts of the country’s central regions on Monday, leaving a resident in the central county of Okcheon missing after a landslide and briefly stranding villagers in the southeastern city of Andong.

As of early Monday morning, southern parts of the Chungcheong region and northern parts of North Gyeongsang Province experienced rainfall as heavy as 50 millimetres per hour, with heavy rain warnings in place, reports Yonhap news agency.

Other parts of the central regions are also expected to receive precipitation of about 30 mm per hour in the day.

A resident in his 50s from Okcheon, 149 kilometres south of Seoul, went missing on Monday morning while inspecting his home amid a landslide affecting his backyard, according to firefighters. Rescuers were having difficulties combing through the backyard in search of the missing person due to flooded soil.

The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters, the country’s disaster control tower, activated the first stage of its three-stage response posture, while the heavy rain alert was raised to “caution,” the second-highest level in the four-level system, according to the interior ministry.

Heavy overnight rain stranded 25 residents of rural villages in Andong, 192 kilometres southeast of Seoul, and a nearby county early Monday morning. All of them were safely rescued by emergency rescuers or evacuated on their own.

The downpour resulted in fallen street trees in the central city of Daejeon and a flooded road in the nearby city of Nonsan. Additionally, soil runoff was reported on a road in Geumsan.

Interior Minister Lee Sang-min, who heads the disaster control tower, instructed regional governments, police and firefighters to “maintain their emergency response readiness and be prepared to take immediate initial action at the signs of perceived risks.”

The Korea Meteorological Administration said that central regions, northern parts of North Jeolla, as well as North Gyeongsang provinces, would experience up to 50 mm of rainfall per hour during the day, accompanied by gusty winds, thunder and lightning.

Those regions are expected to receive up to 120 mm of rain on Monday, while the capital region and inland and mountainous areas of Gangwon Province are likely to see accumulated precipitation between 30 and 80 mm.

Most parts of the country will also experience rainy weather through Wednesday, the weather agency said.


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