Keyword: Flooded Underpass Headline: “Rescue Workers Recover Bodies from Flooded Underpass in South Korea as Torrential Rain Triggers Deadly Flash Floods”

Death Toll Rises in South Korea as Torrential Rain Causes Flooding and Landslides

Severe rains have wreaked havoc in South Korea, resulting in landslides and flash floods that have claimed the lives of at least 33 people, according to authorities. The devastation unfolded as torrential downpours caused the Miho river’s levee to fail in the province of North Chungcheong, resulting in a deluge that inundated a tunnel and trapped 15 vehicles, including a public bus.

A massive search and rescue operation, involving 400 workers and divers, was launched in Cheongju, South Korea, to rescue those trapped in the underwater tunnel. Local fire department chief Seo Jeong-il provided a televised briefing, revealing that nine individuals had already been rescued with injuries. Ten people were reported missing, while authorities worked diligently to identify the seven bodies that were recovered from the vehicles.

Dramatic dashcam footage captured from a vehicle that managed to traverse the tunnel revealed the horrifying scene, as water rushed relentlessly into the underpass while cars continued to plow through the floodwaters. Even as rescue teams tirelessly worked to drain the tunnel, pumping out 80,000 liters per minute, the chance of finding additional survivors seemed bleak.

Seo commented on the challenging rescue efforts in the mud-covered site, stating, “We are mobilizing about 30 divers in groups of two in rotation for the search operation. We are trying our best right now, although it is difficult since the site is covered in mud.” Divers eventually discovered five bodies within the trapped bus, including an elderly woman in her 70s.

The impact of the relentless rain has been felt nationwide, with over 5,500 people forced to evacuate their homes and seek temporary shelter. Additionally, four provinces experienced power outages affecting approximately 8,300 households. The severe flooding has left a trail of destruction, damaging public roads, houses, and farmland.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo has instructed authorities to evacuate individuals living in landslide-prone areas and to intensify rescue efforts. Climate scientists have warned that the frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall will continue to increase across East Asia as the effects of the climate crisis persist, resulting in more extreme weather events.

South Korea’s devastating floods occurred hot on the heels of similar disasters in neighboring Japan, where at least six people lost their lives and 19 were injured. In addition, southwest China has also borne the brunt of flash floods, causing the death of 15 people in the city of Chongqing in recent weeks.

As the search and rescue operation continues and the toll of this natural disaster rises, authorities are grappling with the aftermath of the devastation and working diligently to rebuild shattered communities.