The bodies of eight people trapped in a tunnel flooded after heavy rains in central South Korea were found today, authorities and local media said, raising the death toll to 35.

Seo Jeong-il, chief of the West Cheongju Fire Department, said about 15 vehicles, including a bus, were believed to have sunk into an underpass in the city shortly after a nearby river dam overflowed due to yesterday’s heavy rains. .

Footage from security cameras shown by local broadcaster MBC showed muddy water flowing into the tunnel and vehicles stopped with their wheels submerged in the water.

“We are focusing on the search and rescue operation as there are likely to be other people there. We are doing our best to complete it today,” Seo told reporters.

The death toll from the tunnel has risen to nine, including one found yesterday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

The Ministry of Interior and Security said ten people were missing across the country by 11 a.m. local time as rain caused landslides and flooding and evacuation orders for 7,866 people.

The ministry’s figures do not include those inside the flooded tunnel because it was not immediately known how many were trapped there.

This latest disaster comes despite a pledge by South Korean authorities to increase preparedness for the torrential rains.

Last year, Seoul was hit by floods caused by the heaviest rainfall in 115 years, flooding underground apartments in poor neighborhoods as well as the affluent Gangnam district.

A survivor of the flooded tunnel said the government should have banned access to the underpass as flooding was expected, Yonhap reported.

An official in North Chungcheong province said the dam unexpectedly collapsed before the level of rainfall reached the point where access to the tunnel is expected to be restricted.

President Yun Suk-yeol, who is on an overseas visit, convened a conference call to manage the situation and said some areas had failed to take precautions against the bad weather.

The president called on Prime Minister Han Duk-soo to mobilize all available means to limit the death toll and asked the weather service to immediately issue a forecast because more rain is expected in the coming days, his office said.