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Torrential Rains Flood Central Region

Posted July. 17, 2006 03:49,   


Torrential rains that deposited up to 512mm of water in Yanggu, Gangwon Province between Friday and Sunday devastated the nation’s central region, including Seoul, Incheon and Chungcheong Province, leaving 37 people dead or missing.

In Yeongdeungpo, Seoul, a three-meter section of a stream dike collapsed on Sunday morning, forcing some 500 hundred local residents living close to the dike to evacuate immediately to Dangsan Elementary School.

As the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) forecasts that the heavy rain will continue until Monday, more damage is expected to occur.

On Saturday, the Han River Flood Control Office also issued flood warnings as the water levels of the Han River and Imjin River continued to rise. A flood warning was also issued on the area near the Yeoju Bridge of the Namhan River.

The water level of the Han River was 9.7 meters as of 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. If the water level reaches 10.5 meters, a flood alarm is issued.

In Gangwon Province, heavy rainfalls caused a series of landslides and floods, leaving 11 people dead and 21 people missing. In addition, 1,316 houses and 1,270 hectares of farmland were inundated, making 2,378 people homeless in the region alone.

Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook, who visited on Saturday morning Inje, Gangwon Province which was severely damaged by heavy rainfalls, said, "The government will designate the area a special disaster zone."

Eighteen flights between Gimpo Airport in Seoul and local airports were also cancelled on Sunday.

“As more flights are also expected to be cancelled on Monday due to weather conditions, passengers who are scheduled to have a flight from Gimpo Airport should call the airport call center before coming to the airport,” an official of the airport said.

The monsoon rain front, which pounded the central region of the nation, including Gangwon Province starting Saturday is predicted to move southward and hit southern regions on Monday.

The KMA also extended its flood warnings to Chungcheong Province from 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Warnings were only issued in Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and Gangwon Province. In addition, the KMA issued a special flood warning in the Yeongnam and Honam regions on Sunday late afternoon.