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More than 470 homes damaged, 800 people displaced following deadly blaze

More than 470 houses were confirmed to have been burned, with more than 800 residents displaced in a devastating forest fire that raged through east coastal regions last week, government data showed Monday, as more damage has been discovered after the blaze was brought under control.

The fire, which started Thursday night in the county of Goseong, about 160 kilometers northeast of Seoul, spread quickly to neighboring cities and counties, reducing forests about 742 times the size of a soccer field to ashes.

One person was killed in the blaze, one of the biggest wildfires in South Korea. 


According to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters under the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, a total of 478 houses -- comprising 335 in Goseong, 71 in Gangneung, 60 in Sokcho and 12 in Donghae -- were damaged as of 6:00 a.m. Monday.

So far, 195 warehouses and 50 agricultural facilities have been confirmed to have been burned. In addition, 434 agricultural machines, 61 livestock farms and 41,520 livestock were also lost in the fire, according to the anti-disaster agency.

A total of 829 displaced people, including 651 in Goseong, were staying at 21 emergency shelters, officials said. The authorities have provided 110,000 food items, 1,596 bedclothes and 2,535 blankets to the fire victims.

The country's mobile carriers have almost completed the restoration of 646 base stations and 1,351 Internet lines.

On Saturday, President Moon Jae-in designated the eastern areas engulfed by a recent blaze as a special disaster zone, a move that will expedite the government's support to the affected areas and their residents. (Yonhap)