At least nine people have died and seven others remain missing in South Korea after record rainfall flooded major highways, subway stations and homes, authorities said on Wednesday (August 10th).
The rains, which started on Monday, are the heaviest since the first meteorological observations 115 years ago, according to President Yoon Suk-yeol, who apologized for the "
600 people affected
Images circulated earlier this week on social networks showing people moving in waist-deep water and overflowing metro stations.
Seoul's upscale Gangnam neighborhood was particularly hard hit, with cars half-submerged.
There are a total of 16 victims, including nine dead and seven missing
,” noted an interior ministry official interviewed by AFP.
In total, nearly 600 people have been affected, he added, with many forced to leave their homes.
Of the nine victims, three died while trapped in their flooded semi-basement apartment (“
”), according to the ministry.
According to local media, it is a teenager, his mother and his aunt.
Another person died while moving a fallen tree on the sidewalk, possibly by electrocution.
A landslide buried the home of another victim in the mountainous province of Gangwon.
Read alsoSouth Korea: Pelosi expected at the border with the North
President Yoon Suk-yeol, who visited the banjiha apartment on Tuesday, acknowledged that the South Koreans had "
suffered a lot of damage
" and asked at a government meeting to take special care of the most disadvantaged.
People who have financial or physical difficulties are necessarily more vulnerable to natural disasters
", did he declare.
According to the latest Gallup Korea poll, Yoon Suk-yeol's approval rating has dropped to just 24% since taking office in May.
He is facing criticism for not reporting to the government's emergency control center when the rain started falling.
According to local media, his absence was due to a flood around his house, but his services denied this explanation, assuring that he had decided to stay at home because his team already had the situation in hand.