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Property damage from heavy rains in July-Aug. estimated at over 1 trillion won


Torrential rains that lashed South Korea from late July to early August have caused property damage estimated at over 1 trillion won ($842 million), the worst damage from storms and flooding in 14 years in the country, the interior ministry said Sunday.

The Ministry of the Interior and Safety said the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters under its wing has finished assessing total economic losses from heavy rains that hit the country from July 28-Aug. 11, during a meeting held Friday.

The office tallied the damage at 1.037 trillion won -- 936.3 billion won to public facilities and 100.8 billion won to private facilities.

This marks the worst damage from storms and flooding in the country since 2006, when it suffered 1.834 trillion won in property damage from Typhoon Ewiniar and torrential rains.

Three typhoons have previously caused damage estimated at over 1 trillion won. They are Typhoon Olga (1.049 trillion won) in 1999, Typhoon Rusa (5.148 trillion won) in 2002 and Typhoon Maemi (4.223 trillion won) in 2003.

Some 3.43 trillion won, aggregated from government, provincial and independent expenditures, has been fixed for restoring the harm done by the recent rainfalls, also the highest since 2006. The sum breaks down to 3.26 trillion won earmarked for public facilities and 1.64 trillion won for private facilities, according to the ministry.

"Normally, the restoration fund is set at around 2.5 times to up to triple the amount of financial loss, but (the government) has decided to support a bit more to fundamentally resolve causes behind the suffering through improvement and restoration," the ministry said.

The ministry said the tally excluded heavy downpours that hit Busan and its adjacent cities on July 23-25 because damage wasn't big enough to require support from the state coffers, according to the ministry.

The damage from the ninth and tenth typhoons of this summer, Maysak and Haishen, will be assessed and settled as well, the ministry added. (Yonhap)
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