22-year record rainfall hits South Korean city
Rescue workers have received more than 500 distress calls
By Lee Kyung-min
Fifteen households were evacuated and more than 500 rescue reports were filed following record heavy rainfall in South Korea’s Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.
According to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), the city had 290.1 millimeters of rain, the most in 22 years since August 1995 when it had 293 millimeters of rain. The amount will exceed the 1995 record as 90 millimeters of rain is falling per hour in the region.
The Ministry of Public Safety and Security issued a warning to residents advising against outdoor activities, due to possible landslides.
Fire departments in the city had more than 500 reports calling for emergency support after their houses were flooded and their vehicles were submerged by heavy flooding.
Households near Musim Stream were evacuated as the water level there rose to 4.19 meters, only about 1 meter short of 4.3 meters designated as a dangerous level.
Emergency crews spent two hours pumping water out of a flooded 660-square-meter tire-manufacturing factory in Jincheon.
Traffic was banned in parts of major intersections in the central region in the city.
Meanwhile, according to the Korea Railroad Corp. (KORAIL), the state-run railway operator, trains connecting Naesu and Jeungpyeong in North Chungcheong Province were canceled due to an electrical malfunction, Sunday, after part of the train tracks were submerged by heavy flooding.
The region had more than 200 millimeters of rain,
KORAIL said train operations will remain halted until the water is completely drained, and apologised for inconveniencing passengers.
The incident came amid the heavy rain warning issued in the North and South Chungcheong Provinces including Cheongju, Jeungpyeong, Boeun and Goesan. Some of the regions had up to 220 millimeters of rain, with multiple reports about flooding.
The KMA advised residents in North Chungcheong Province to take extra precautions to prevent damage or accidents as heavy rains continue to hit the region, where more than 130 people were evacuated from their homes.
Gangwon Province didn’t get as much precipitation as North Chungcheong Province, but flooding stranded 150 vacationers near Seom River. The KMA lifted the heavy rain advisory issued in Seoul and surrounding Gyeonggi Province and Gangwon Province Sunday morning.
A heavy rain advisory is issued when a region receives more than 70 millimeters of rain within six hours or more than 110 millimeters of rain is expected in the next 12 hours.
A heavy rain warning is issued when a region receives more than 110 millimeters of rain within six hours or more than 180 millimeters of rain is expected in the next 12 hours.
Meanwhile, the much-awaited downpour has raised water levels at dams and weirs in drought-stricken regions.
According to the Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-water), six gates of Paldang Dam were opened, releasing about 4,200 tons of water per second. The dam in Namyangju, Gyeonggi Province, directly affects water levels of Han River.