At least nine people were killed, and seven others went missing, in South Korea after unprecedented heavy rains caused floods that submerged main roads, subway stations, and homes.
The torrential rains since Monday are the heaviest recorded in the Asian country since records began 115 years ago, according to South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol.
This week, videos shared on social media showed people trying to reach safety, while water reached waist level, and water that swept through subway stations.
Floods especially hit the well-to-do district of Gangnam, while cars were submerged by water.
An official in the Ministry of Interior stated, “There are nine dead and seven went missing.”
NOUVEAU 🚨 Des précipitations record font 8 morts en Corée du Sud et inondent Séoul. pic.twitter.com/bprDSqBLpH
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Three of the nine killed died after they were stuck in a basement apartment, according to the interior ministry.
According to local press reports, the three victims are a woman and her female relative, as well as a teenager.
Another person died while trying to remove a tree that fell on a sidewalk and was electrocuted.
On Tuesday, the Korean president inspected the flooded apartment, stressing that the citizens “incurred a lot of damage.”
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In a ministerial meeting, the president asked officials to “pay special attention to the most vulnerable groups,” noting that “those who suffer from material or physical difficulties are usually the most vulnerable to natural disasters.”
According to the latest Gallup poll, Yoon’s popularity has fallen to 24% since he took office last May. He is facing criticism for not visiting the government’s emergency center when the torrential rains began.
Local newspapers reported that his absence was due to floods surrounding his house; however, his office denied this report and said he decided to stay home because his team had responded to the situation.
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