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On Tuesday morning, vehicles that were submerged by heavy rain the previous day in the Seocho-daero area in front of Jinheung Apartment in Seocho-gu, Seoul, reemerge after evaporation. (Yonhap)

Heaviest rainfall in 115 years wreaks havoc on greater Seoul

(The Korea Herald/ANN) --  Record-setting heavy rain hit Seoul and surrounding areas on Monday night and Tuesday morning, wreaking havoc across the region. The rainfall -- the highest amount recorded in Seoul in 115 years -- left several dead and displaced hundreds. Severe flooding occurred in many parts of the capital, leading to significant infrastructure and property damage.
Heavy rain is expected to continue until Friday in Seoul and throughout the capital region, the Korea Meteorological Administration said Tuesday.
In Gwanak-gu, southern Seoul, three people -- a 13-year-old and two adults in their 40s -- died after getting trapped in a semi-basement apartment.
A 60-something district office employee died while cleaning up tree branches that had fallen in the storm. The cause of death is thought to be electrocution.
In Dongjak-gu, southern Seoul, one person died after his house flooded. In Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province, one person was found dead under a collapsed bus stop, and another person was killed in a roadside landslide. In Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, another died at 4:27 a.m. due to a landslide.
There were 391 people displaced by flooding in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province as of 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday. They were provided shelter at nearby schools and community centres.
A total of 741 houses and shopping malls were flooded while retaining walls collapsed in three places in Seoul, Incheon, Gangwon Province and Gyeonggi Province as of 1:00 p.m.
More than 1,000 cases of vehicle flooding have been reported as of Tuesday morning, according to figures from the insurance industry.
Trains were halted across the city as rainwater flooded subway stations and tracks. As flooding increased, traffic was ground to a halt and people took to social media to post photos of flood damage in real time. Subway flooding was concentrated on routes south of the Han River, including Lines 2, 7 and 9.
The stations that were flooded on Line No. 7 were Sangdo Station, Isu Station, Gwangmyeong Intersection Station and Daechi Station. On Line No. 2, Samseong Station, Sadang Station and Seolleung Station were flooded.
Service has been restored to all sections of Line Nos. 1 through 8. The Ui New Line and Sillim Line are also operating normally as of this morning. But some sections of subway Line No. 9 were not operational due to flooding.
Major roads were blocked by heavy rains in the Seoul metropolitan area beginning Tuesday morning, causing severe traffic congestion in various places. Some urban highways and bridges are under control, as the city is used to managing the water level of the Han River due to torrential rains.
The Ministry of the Interior and Safety upgraded the Central Disaster and Safety level from the second to the third stage, and raised the crisis alert level from “warning” to “serious.”
President Yoon Suk-yeol instructed public and private workplaces to encourage employees to adjust their commuting hours, according to the presidential office.
At 9:30 a.m. President Yoon visited the disaster safety situation room at the Seoul Government Complex to preside over an emergency meeting and check on the heavy rain damage situation.

(Latest Update August 10, 2022)

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