The country is currently experiencing the peak of the monsoon season, with the rains causing widespread flooding and landslides.
Rescue crews recovered the body of the last victim after flooding in an underground tunnel in central South Korea late Monday and ended the search, the interior ministry said in Seoul.
Fourteen people died when the 430-meter-long tunnel flooded in Chongzhou, North Qingzhong province, the ministry said. Official investigations are underway into the tragedy.
“This kind of extreme weather event will become commonplace. We must accept climate change is happening.”
South Korea’s President said, as the death toll continues to rise from floods in the country and many remain missing. pic.twitter.com/fqFz67dIc6
— DW News (@dwnews) July 17, 2023
The search for victims ended late in the evening.
The country is currently experiencing the peak of the monsoon season, with the rains causing widespread flooding and landslides. According to the Ministry of the Interior, 41 people died due to the weatherwhile another nine are still missing nationwide.
The tunnel in Chongqing flooded on Saturday morning due to flash flooding, trapping 17 vehicles, including a bus, the same source explained.
It will remain closed for inspection.
Yesterday Monday, the South Korean government and police announced that they were conducting separate investigations to shed light on the tragedy.
President Yoon Seok-geil spoke of mismanagement of high-risk areas.
Nineteen of the deaths and eight of the disappearances have been recorded in the mountainous North Changshang province. Most of the victims were swept away or crushed when gigantic landslides buried houses along with the inhabitants.
The Korea National Meteorological Service predicts torrential rains will continue until Wednesday and urges citizens to “avoid going out”.
The country is often hit by floods, however it was generally considered prepared to deal with waves of bad weather. Casualty counts are often small given the extent and severity of the phenomena.
However, President Yun again today called for a major overhaul of the disaster response system after dozens of deaths.
Scientists have warned that climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of such disasters.
In 2022, South Korea had already seen record-breaking rains and floods that had killed 11 people, including three trapped underground in Seoul — living in conditions some discovered watching the Oscar-winning film Parasite.
The government had then justified itself by stressing that it was the worst rainfall since statistics began to be kept 115 years ago and citing climate change.
With a wealth of experience honed over 4+ years in journalism, I bring a seasoned voice to the world of news. Currently, I work as a freelance writer and editor, always seeking new opportunities to tell compelling stories in the field of world news.