44 dead, 6 missing amid continued downpours as of Wednesday morning
KMA warns more heavy rain to come starting FridayBy Lee Jung-youn
Published : July 18, 2023 - 14:51
In the wake of record-breaking nationwide downpours, authorities discovered three bodies on Tuesday in Yecheon-gun, North Gyeongsang Province, bringing the death toll associated with the heavy rain in the province to 22. This brings the total number of deaths from downpour to 44 nationwide as of 6 a.m.
The North Gyeongsang Fire Service Headquarters confirmed on Tuesday that the body of a woman in her 50s who had gone missing on Saturday with her husband, was discovered at 10:27 a.m. by Marines aiding in the search around a stream in Jegok-ri, Yongmun-myeon, Yecheon-gun, near the village of Jinpyeong-2-ri, Gamcheon-myeon, which was devastated by a massive landslide triggered by the rains last Saturday. Her husband is yet to be found.
The body of a second woman was found at around noon Tuesday by a police search dog in Jinpyeong-2-ri. The total number of casualties stayed at 50 after the second woman, who was initially not thought to be on the list of missing people, was identified as one of the people listed.
The body of a man in his 60s was found around 3:30 p.m. in Baekseok-ri. His wife, who was swept away with her husband by the landslide, was found dead Sunday.
In Yecheon-gun, hit by a fatal landslide Saturday, the bodies of 12 individuals have been recovered, while five remained missing as of Tuesday 5 p.m. Busan continues to search for a woman in her 60s, swept away by heavy rain on the afternoon of July 11.
Yecheon-gun will hold a period of mourning for residents who died in the area due to heavy rain and landslides until July 21.
As the heavy rain continued Monday night, farmland and livestock damage also increased. The total amount of damaged farmland reported to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs was 31,064.7 hectares as of 6 p.m. on Tuesday -- 107 times the size of Yeouido in Seoul. Among the affected agricultural areas, 30,319 hectares of land were flooded, and 659.2 hectares of land were swept away.
Approximately 693,000 livestock animals -- including chickens, cows and pigs -- have died as of 11 a.m. on Tuesday, the tally showed.
The Ministry of Education said 12 education offices and 63 schools nationwide suffered various types of damage as of 9 a.m. Tuesday, including sinkholes, cracks in the outer walls of buildings and the flooding of facilities. The Korea Institute of Educational Facility Safety said it will support the disaster recovery expenses of institutions that suffered damage.
As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, 14,490 people from 9,231 households had been temporarily evacuated from their homes due to the heavy rainfall, and 5,876 people from 3,913 households are yet to return home out of concern that they could face additional damage.
From June 25, when the monsoon season began, to July 15, the amount of rain reached 489.1 millimeters in the central region and 473.4 millimeters in the southern regions. In average monsoon seasons, the amount of rain reaches 378.3 mm in the central region for an average of 31.5 days, and 341.1 mm of rain in the southern regions for an average of 31.4 days. So far, the amount of rain this year has been 30 percent and 40 percent more than average this year in the central and southern regions, respectively, according to the weather agency.
While record heavy rain across the country continue to cause casualties and damage to facilities, the weather agency warned that although the monsoon rain will begin to abate from Wednesday morning, it will resume Friday, starting from Jeju Island and the southern regions.
Between Wednesday and Friday, the weather nationwide is expected to be clear as high pressure will temporarily affect the peninsula. However, the highs in most areas will exceed 30 degrees Celsius, bringing heat waves, the Korea Meteorological Administration said. A stationary front that formed in inland China, accompanied by low pressure, will approach moving northward from the south starting Friday, dumping heavy rain across the country over the weekend.
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