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Heavy downpours leave 4 dead or missing in South Korea

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Emergency rescue workers search for people at a flooded underground road tunnel in Busan's Dong-gu District, Thursday. Three people were found dead there. Courtesy of Busan Metropolitan Police Agency
Emergency rescue workers search for people at a flooded underground road tunnel in Busan's Dong-gu District, Thursday. Three people were found dead there. Courtesy of Busan Metropolitan Police Agency

Heavy downpours with strong winds have hit South Korea, causing flash floods that killed three people and left scores of people stranded in floodwater.

The Central Disaster Management Headquarters said three people were found dead in their cars Thursday night, submerged in rain water in the southern port city of Busan. One man was reported missing after being swept away by a flooded stream in Ulsan, northeast of Busan.

Nationwide, some 195 people were evacuated to safety and at least 51 people were rescued, according to the national disaster management center.

In Busan, the country's second-biggest city, torrential rains of up to 80 millimeters per hour unleashed chaos, sending mudslides into construction sites and turning subway stations into indoor showers.

A road in Suncheon, South Jeolla Province, was blocked Friday after it was destroyed by the downpours last night. Yonhap
A road in Suncheon, South Jeolla Province, was blocked Friday after it was destroyed by the downpours last night. Yonhap

According to the national weather agency, the city's hourly precipitation on Thursday recorded the 10th highest since 1920.

Photos shared by residents there showed that rain water cascaded down into underground subway stations and buses ran in waist-high floodwaters. Normally busy streets turned into giant, shallow lakes.

In Busan, 162 cases of flooded homes were reported, the most in the country, where 43 roads were also submerged, temporarily trapping people in their vehicles.

A heavy rain advisory was also issued in the industrial city of Ulsan, home to Hyundai Motor's main domestic plants.

Basement Level 1 of the underground parking lots at luxurious high-rise residential building Haeundae Centum City in Busan was flooded on Thursday following the heavy downpours, submerging high-end supercars among others. Yonhap
Basement Level 1 of the underground parking lots at luxurious high-rise residential building Haeundae Centum City in Busan was flooded on Thursday following the heavy downpours, submerging high-end supercars among others. Yonhap

Downpours of 215.5 mm pummeled the city, triggering mudslides and flash floods that swallowed sidewalks and the pedestrian paths along Yeocheon Stream in southern Ulsan. A total of 44 damage reports were filed at the Ulsan Fire Station.

In the capital Seoul, some parts of intercity highways were closed due to rising waters. But damage otherwise was minimal. In Gwangju, Gapyeong and Paju of Gyeonggi Province, heavy downpours temporarily caused power outages at 1,100 households.

Heavy rain advisories are still in effect in parts of the country, including the provinces of Gangwon and North Gyeongsang, where more rainfall up to 50 mm is forecast to continue. But showers will stop for the capital area ― Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province ― during the day on Friday. (Yonhap)




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