S. Korea landslide kills 32; 14,000 without electricity

Added by on July 27, 2011

Debris as a result of landslide / Newsis - AP Photo

A landslide near the resort village of Chuncheon, South Korea killed 32 people and injured 24 on Wednesday.

Chuncheon is about 75km (45mi) northeast of the capital, Seoul, which has received more than 400mm (15in) of rain since Tuesday.

The hillside bordering the town, weakened by the record-setting rainfall, gave way at about midnight local time cutting off power to about 14,000 people and causing 400 families to loose their homes due to damage. More than 750 rescue workers were deployed to the site after the collapse occurred; 20 people were rescued from the muddy rubble.

A survivor of the mudslide is reported to have said, “I heard this terrible rumble. I woke up others and we rushed out. In a slit second, our motel was under the mud. I heard university students yelling ‘Help me!’ and saw some of them crawling out, coated in mud.”.

In Seoul, 60 households are inaccessible due to high water, and six people are missing due to flash flooding.

The Korea Meteorological Agency issued a special heavy rainfall alert for cities near middle of the country. The amount of rain Korea received during the last two days roughly equals the about three-quarters of the total rainfall for the entire rainy season. The short-term forecast for the next 24h predicts the heavy rain to continue at a rate of about 60mm (2.4in) per hour.

South Korea typically experiences more rain during the summer. The nation’s tourism site reports that South Korea currently gets more rain as compared to the rain it received in the past, due to global climate change.