Rescuers Recover Seven Bodies in Flooded Underground Tunnel in Central Osong Amid Devastating Rains

Title: Multiple Fatalities Reported in South Korea Tunnel Flooding

Torrential rains and subsequent flooding have caused devastation in South Korea, with rescue workers discovering multiple bodies in a bus trapped in a flooded tunnel. The flooding, landslides, and the overflow of a major dam have resulted in widespread destruction in the country. As rescue operations continue, the death toll rises, and questions arise about the adequacy of safety measures in response to the disaster.

Rescue Operation Uncovers More Victims:
Rescue teams in the central town of Osong have located seven bodies within a bus trapped in an underground tunnel. Amidst the continuous heavy rain, the four-lane underpass became submerged when the nearby Miho River’s banks collapsed. The rapid deluge prevented individuals from escaping in time. Alongside the seven bodies recovered from the bus, six more bodies were found as rescue workers raced against time to reach those still trapped inside the 685-meter-long tunnel.

Survivors Recount the Horrifying Experience:
Of the eleven people initially reported missing on Saturday, rescue workers managed to save nine individuals who clung to the sides of the tunnel’s guardrails. One survivor expressed bewilderment about why the tunnel had not been closed sooner, highlighting the multitude of vehicles caught inside when the water engulfed the area and rapidly rose.

Heavy Rains Cause Prolonged Devastation:
South Korea, currently experiencing its summer monsoon season, has been grappling with incessant heavy rains since July 9. The Ministry of Interior and Safety reported that these downpours led to multiple fatalities, including 26 deaths caused by landslides and flooding in the central and southeastern regions of the country. North Gyeongsang province was hit particularly hard, with 17 people dead and nine missing due to massive landslides that swept away entire houses.

Efforts to Assist Evacuees and Address Infrastructure Damage:
Amidst the ongoing disaster, over 5,570 people have been compelled to evacuate their homes. The Goesan Dam in North Chungcheong province overflowed, resulting in additional flooding and necessitating the evacuation of nearby villages. As of Saturday night, more than 4,200 individuals remained in temporary shelters. The heavy rains also led to the cancellation of around 20 flights, suspension of regular and bullet train services, and the closure of nearly 200 roads across the country.

Government Response and Weather Warnings:
While President Yoon Suk-yeol was away in Ukraine, he instructed Prime Minister Han Duck-soo to allocate all possible resources for disaster response. The prime minister urged authorities to take preventive measures against river overflows and landslides, as well as requesting assistance from the defense ministry in rescue operations. The Korea Meteorological Administration issued severe rain warnings, cautioning that the dangerous weather conditions are expected to continue until Wednesday of next week.

South Korea’s History of Monsoon Flooding:
Every summer, South Korea faces flooding during its monsoon season, but the country usually remains prepared, resulting in relatively low casualty numbers. However, last year’s record-breaking rains and subsequent flooding claimed the lives of more than 11 people. The severity of the 2022 flooding prompted the South Korean government to identify it as the heaviest rainfall in 115 years of recorded weather history in Seoul, attributing the extreme weather to climate change.

In conclusion, heavy rains in South Korea have led to catastrophic flooding and landslides, resulting in the tragic loss of life. Rescue efforts are ongoing as emergency responders work to save those still trapped by the devastating floodwaters. The government mobilized resources and instructed preventive measures to mitigate the impact of the disaster. With severe rain warnings in place, South Korea remains on high alert as the nation battles the ongoing monsoon season’s destructive force.