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Heavy rain pounds southern regions, causes three deaths

A residential area in Gwangju, South Jeolla Province, is flooded Monday morning as heavy rain overnight caused problems with water pipelines at a nearby construction site. (Yonhap)
A residential area in Gwangju, South Jeolla Province, is flooded Monday morning as heavy rain overnight caused problems with water pipelines at a nearby construction site. (Yonhap)
South Korea saw torrential rain on Monday, with floods in low-lying areas, traffic disruptions and property damage mostly in the southern part of the country. At least three people have died, and some regions received over 200 millimeters of rain between Sunday and Monday morning.

Two men in their 70s were swept away to their deaths Monday morning in Hamyang County, South Gyeongsang Province, after a stream overflowed. They were trying to fix a water pipe when the accident occurred. Their bodies were recovered hours later around 2 kilometers down the waterway.

A man in his 60s slipped while hiking in Daegu and died after falling 5 meters.

According to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, 257 hectares of farmland were flooded and visitors were prohibited from using 407 walking trails at 15 national parks. A number of houses, barns and roads were flooded, forcing residents in some regions to evacuate their homes.

Heavy rain advisories, issued for a throng of cities and provinces on Sunday, had mostly been lifted as of 1:30 p.m. Monday, except for the inland areas of North Gyeongsang Province and the coastal areas of South Gyeongsang Province.

From Sunday at midnight to 10 a.m. Monday, South Gyeongsang Province received up to 251 millimeters of rain. North Jeolla Province got 228 millimeters, and Gwangju got 200 millimeters.

The Korea Meteorological Administration expects the wet weather to clear up Tuesday morning in most regions, although it may continue in some southern regions. There is also a chance that it will rain again Wednesday in some parts of the country, as the monsoon season continues.

The rain was relatively mild in the capital area. Seoul saw a total of 23.9 millimeters for the first 11 hours of Monday, while Gyeonggi Province saw up to 76.5 millimeters.

Several traffic accidents occurred due to slippery roads. The Interior Ministry said 11,687 officials were in emergency mode to ensure road safety and monitor for signs of damage at 61,075 vulnerable sites.

While it is hard to predict exactly when the monsoon season will come to an end, the weather agency has said, the nation is in for a heat wave when it does -- in the latter half of this month at the latest. 

By Ko Jun-tae (ko.juntae@heraldcorp.com)
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