|A section of a road in Chungju, North Chungcheong Province, was washed away. / Yonhap|
Heavy rain pummeled central South Korea on Sunday, flooding homes, triggering mudslides, and forcing road closures and the suspension of train services. One firefighter was missing after a flash flood swept him away, officials said.
The firefighter, identified by his surname Song, 29, was standing next to a stream in the central city of Chungju to check swollen waters when the ground collapsed, causing him to fall into the stream around 7:30 a.m.
A search was under way, officials said.
Torrential rain of up to 60 millimeters per hour soaked northern parts of North Chungcheong Province overnight, including Chungju, about 105 kilometers southeast of Seoul, and adjacent areas that include Cheongju, Jecheon and Danyang county.
More than 80 houses in Chungju were flooded, forcing about 120 residents to evacuate early Sunday morning.
|A destroyed river bank in Geumsan, South Chungcheong Province, Sunday. / Yonhap|
|A flooded village in Chungju, North Chungcheong Province, Sunday. / Yonhap|
|Cars stranded on a flooded road in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, Sunday. / Yonhap|
|Emergency workers rescue people trapped on a flooded walking trail in Yeongdeungpo, Seoul, Saturday. Yonhap|
Train services on all routes of three lines running in the central and eastern parts of the country ― the Chungbuk, Taebaek and Jungang lines ― were suspended due to mudslides and flooding.
The Chungbuk Line runs from the central city of Sejong to Jecheon, the Taebak Line from Jecheon to the Gangwon Province city of Taebaek and the Jungang Line from Seoul to the southeastern city of Gyeongju.
Mudslides also closed several roads.
The national railway operator, the Korea Railroad Corp. (Korail), advised travelers in the affected regions to choose other means of transport because it may take considerable time to restore the train services.
The country's capital area, including cities in Gyeonggi Province encircling Seoul, also reported flooding of houses and cases of property damage after heavy rain of around 60 mm per hour hit the areas. (Yonhap)