South Korea floods, landslides kill 26 as heavy rains continue

South Korea floods, landslides kill 26 as heavy rains continue

Flooding along Seomjin River amid monsoon rains in Duga-ri
General view shows flooding along Seomjin River amid monsoon rains, in Duga-ri, South Korea August 8, 2020 in this still image taken from social media video. Lee Dong Hyun / Misillan Farm via REUTERS

SEOUL: At least 26 people have died after 46 days of heavy rains in South Korea, with the country's longest monsoon in seven years causing more flooding, landslides and evacuations on Saturday (Aug 8).

More than 5,000 people had been evacuated as of 4.30pm local time on Saturday, according to Ministry of the Interior and Safety data, as rains battered the southern part of the Korean peninsula. Ten people are missing.

About 100m of levee collapsed at the Seomjin River in the southern edge of the peninsula on Saturday and flooded the area, an official at the South Jeolla province said, with about 1,900 people evacuated in the province including about 500 from around the river.

READ: 1 rescue worker dead, 5 missing in floods after boats capsize in South Korea 

READ: COVID-19 complicates South Korea flood response as hundreds gather in shelters

The country's forestry agency has raised landslide warnings to its highest level in every region except the holiday island of Jeju.

Five homes were buried in a landslide on Friday from a mountain behind a village in Gokseong, South Jeolla province, killing five people. Three people have been rescued.

Twelve local flights were cancelled at the regional Gwangju airport near the southwestern tip of the peninsula after the runway was flooded, according to Yonhap news agency.

The city of Seoul warned people to stay away from basements, valleys and rivers as further torrential rains were expected on Saturday night.

South Korea's longest monsoon on record was 49 days in 2013. Current weather forecasts predict that this year's monsoon may last longer.

In neighbouring North Korea, state media KCNA reported that Premier Pak Pong Ju, the country's third-highest ranking official, inspected flood damage to submerged fields and crops in southwest regions of the country.

Source: Reuters/ga

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