The Korea Herald


Seocho may be declared disaster area

By 이우영

Published : July 31, 2011 - 19:31

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Seoul’s southern ward of Seocho, hit hard by heavy rains last week, may be declared a special disaster area, the home administration ministry said Sunday.

If the cost of flood and landslide damage exceeds 9.5 billion won ($9 million) in Seocho, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security will approve the designation.

The Seocho Ward Office puts the estimated damage at more than 100 million won.

Heavy rains triggered multiple landslides in Mount Umyeon last week, killing 18 people in Seocho, injuring 20 others. Some 2,076 houses in the area were submerged.

If designated, Seocho will receive up to 90 percent of the damage cost as a relief fund from the central government.

Home Administration Minister Maeng Hyung-gyu ordered a thorough inspection for the scope of flood and slide damage to related regional committees and agencies.

To be designated as a disaster area, the ward should have its disaster area inspected by a regional committee for 14 days and go through verification process by the central committee for seven days.

The central government plans to provide a relief fund as soon as possible once the result is released.

The home ministry also said it will offer Seocho a special grant of 3 billion won for emergency restoration and clean up to affected regions, regardless of the zone designation.

Areas hit hardest by last week’s heavy rain include the southern districts of Seoul ― Seocho, Gwanak ― and surrounding areas of Seoul ― Dongducheon in Gyeonggi Province and Cheorwon in Gangwon Province.

By Lee Woo-young  (