South Korean flood: Rescuers fight to rescue cars in the inundated Cheongju tunnel
Following days of torrential rain, rescuers in South Korea are attempting to access cars stranded in a flooded tunnel.
It is unknown how many individuals are trapped, but around 19 automobiles are said to be in the tunnel in Cheongju, North Chungcheong province.
At least 26 individuals have been slain across the country, with another ten still missing.
The majority of the deaths occurred in the hilly North Gyeongsang region, where landslides swept away homes.
On Saturday, about 300mm (11.8in) of rain poured across the country, according to local media. According to the Korean Meteorological Association, South Korea receives 1,000mm (39.4in) to 1,800mm (70.9in) of rainfall every year, with the majority of that falling during the summer months.
Aerial photos of flood-damaged neighborhoods reveal brown muck and flood waters so deep that only the tops of roofs can be seen jutting out.
Evacuation orders issued by several local governments have affected thousands of people, and Prime Minister Han Duck-soo has urged the military to assist with rescue attempts.
According to fire officials, the tunnel in the Cheongju area of Osong was overwhelmed by a flash flood too quickly for drivers and passengers to escape, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.
One person has been confirmed dead, while nine others have been rescued.
According to the organization, some 6,400 individuals were evacuated early Saturday morning local time after the Goesan Dam began to flood.
A number of low-lying communities surrounding the dam were drowned, as were many of the roads linking them, trapping some individuals inside their homes.
A train derailed in North Chungcheong late Friday due to a landslide. Although one engineer was hurt, the train was not carrying passengers at the time.
Korail, the country’s national rail operator, has declared the suspension of all slow trains and certain bullet trains, as well as the disruption of other bullet services.
More rain is expected until Wednesday next week, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration. It has issued a “grave” warning due to the weather conditions.
Over the last two weeks, heavy rains have triggered floods and landslides in various nations, including India, China, and Japan.
While numerous factors contribute to floods, experts believe that a warming atmosphere caused by climate change increases the likelihood of catastrophic rainfall.
The more moisture the atmosphere can store, the warmer it becomes.