Torrential Rain Triggers Rescue Efforts as Cars Submerged in South Korean Flooded Tunnel

Rescuers in South Korea engage in a challenging search and rescue operation as they attempt to reach cars trapped in a flooded tunnel. The tunnel in Cheongju, located in the North Chungcheong province, became submerged after days of heavy rain swept the region. At least 19 vehicles are reported to be trapped in the tunnel, with an unknown number of people trapped inside. The situation is further exacerbated by the devastating impact of torrential rain across the country, which has claimed the lives of at least 22 people and left 14 others missing.

The majority of the fatalities occurred in the mountainous North Gyeongsang area, where landslides caused significant destruction and swept away houses. Aerial images of the affected areas reveal the extent of the damage, with floodwaters and mud engulfing villages and leaving only the tops of roofs visible. Evacuation orders issued by local governments have affected thousands of individuals, prompting Prime Minister Han Duck-soo to request military assistance in the rescue efforts.

The flooded tunnel in Cheongju, known as the Osong suburb, initially experienced a flash flood, leaving drivers and passengers unable to escape in time. Reports indicate that one person has died, while nine others were rescued. In addition to the tunnel incident, the Goesan Dam overflowed, leading to the evacuation of approximately 6,400 residents. Low-lying villages near the dam, as well as connecting roads, were submerged, leaving residents trapped in their homes.

Further complications arose when a landslide caused a train to derail in North Chungcheong. Fortunately, there were no passengers on board at the time, and only one engineer sustained injuries. As a result of the adverse weather conditions, the country’s national rail operator, Korail, has suspended all slow trains and some bullet trains, with disruptions expected to impact other bullet train services as well.

The Korea Meteorological Administration forecasts that the rainfall will persist until Wednesday of the following week, posing a grave danger due to the increasing warm temperatures and subsequent moisture levels in the atmosphere.

The situation in South Korea is grave as rescuers work tirelessly to navigate the challenges brought forth by the flooding and landslides. The torrential rain has caused extensive damage, affecting numerous lives and leaving many trapped in perilous situations. The government’s call for military assistance underlines the urgency of the situation. As the country grapples with the aftermath of the severe weather, it is crucial to prioritize rescue operations and ensure the safety of all those affected.