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Korea reels in aftermath of Hinnamnor that left 11 dead and 1 missing

Government plans to inject 50 billion won in recovery work, designate Pohang special disaster zone

President Yoon Suk-yeol speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the presidential office in Yongsan-gu, Seoul. (Yonhap)
President Yoon Suk-yeol speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the presidential office in Yongsan-gu, Seoul. (Yonhap)
Typhoon Hinnamnor has left 11 dead, one missing and three injured as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Central Disaster Safety Relief Headquarters.

In Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province, nine people were killed by the storm, and one went missing. In nearby Gyeongju, a person was found dead, and a man in his 20s who had gone missing in Ulsan was found dead in the afternoon.

To help the recovery in Pohang, President Yoon Suk-yeol said Wednesday he would designate Pohang as a special disaster zone as soon as possible. Yoon added that the government would inject 50 billion won ($36 million) into recovery work. Yoon was scheduled to travel to Pohang later in the day.

Pohang was the city hardest hit by Typhoon Hinnamnor, which passed through the southern part of the country Tuesday morning. The typhoon destroyed roads, submerged buildings and houses and caused landslides.

Most of the casualties were from the southern city of Pohang due to a number of people being trapped in a flooded underground parking lot at an apartment complex as they tried to move their cars before the space was inundated.

According to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, a total of nine people have been pulled from the underground parking lot as of Wednesday morning. Of the nine people, two were rescued, but the seven others were found dead.

Rescuers continued to drain the parking garage to search for any remaining victims. An official from the Interior Ministry said the number of casualties could increase as the search continues.

Other casualties included two more deaths in Pohang and an 80-year-old woman who was found dead in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province. A man in his 20s, who went missing in Ulsan, was also included in the death toll on Wednesday afternoon, after he was found dead at around 3 p.m. The two people who were rescued from the underground parking lot sustained injuries, so did one other person in Gyeonggi Province.

The official tally of inundated houses and commercial buildings has increased. A total of 8,328 houses have been flooded, of which 8,309 were in North Gyeongsang Province. The number of flooded commercial buildings is 3,085, according to the government.

The number of people displaced from their damaged houses reached 13 from eight households. The number of people who were temporarily evacuated for safety reasons was 4,716 from 3,508 households, up from 2,141 households reported Tuesday. Of those evacuated, 999 have not returned to their homes yet.

The number of farms that have reported damage has also increased. The government report said a total of 3,815 hectares of farmland had been damaged nationwide, up from 1,320 in its Tuesday report. Of the total, North Gyeongsang Province reported 2,308 hectares of damaged farmland, followed by South Gyeongsang Province’s 477 hectares.

The number of households that suffered power outages went up to 89,203 from 66,341 a day earlier. But around 98.2 percent of them have already had power restored, the government said.

By Shim Woo-hyun (