SEOUL-Subway stations and major roads were under water in the South Korean capital Seoul after record-breaking rains caused severe flooding, with at least nine people dead and six more missing, officials said on Tuesday.
Dramatic images shared on social media late on Monday showed people wading through waist-deep water, metro stations overflowing, and cars half-submerged in Seoul’s posh Gangnam district after torrential rain battered the city.
The downpour that began on Monday is the heaviest rainfall in South Korea in 80 years, reported Yonhap News Agency.
One of the victims was a Chinese citizen killed in a landslide in the city of Hwaseong in Gyeonggi Province at around 4:23 am local time on Tuesday, according to the Chinese Embassy in South Korea.
Local reports said three people, including a teenager, living in a banjiha-cramped basement flats made famous in Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar-winning Parasite-died as their apartment was inundated by floodwaters.
Parts of Seoul, the surrounding Gyeonggi Province and port city Incheon recorded rains of more than 100 millimeters per hour on Monday night, reported Yonhap, with per-hour precipitation in the capital’s Dongjak district surpassing 141.5 mm at one point, the heaviest downpour since 1942.
President Yoon Suk-yeol ordered government officials to evacuate residents from high-risk areas and encouraged businesses to allow employees flexible commuting hours on Tuesday morning.
“Nothing is more precious than life and safety. The government will thoroughly manage the heavy rain situation,” he wrote on Facebook.
Neighborhoods close to the presidential residence in southern Seoul were affected, according to images of the flooding posted on social media.
Power outages were reported across the capital area late on Monday, while some of the Seoul metro’s operations as well as railway services were temporarily disrupted by the heavy rain.
The Seoul express bus terminal in Gangnam was submerged, and floodwater also leaked into a cafe and library at the COEX Convention and Exhibition Center in the same area.
South Korea remained highly disrupted on Tuesday, with many roads and tunnels closed for safety reasons, Yonhap reported.
Hiking trails at many of South Korea’s national parks were closed and passenger ferry routes, including from Incheon port, were suspended for safety concerns.