Thursday, July 28, 2011

Torrential rains in South Korea left 32 dead

Torrential rains caused landslides on Wednesday throughout the South Korean capital and a northern village, killing at least 32 deaths, including 10 university students who volunteer. University students who died in the landslide occurred in the morning, had stayed in a cabin in Chuncheon, about 68 miles northeast of the capital, Seoul, when the flood of mud and debris crushed them, said Byun In -soo of the fire station in the town.

Among the dead is also a married couple and the owner of a convenience store, said Lee Ju-hee, the fire station in Chuncheon. Some 500 rescuers are working to rescue people trapped under mud and debris. At least 24 people were injured and many buildings were destroyed. South of Seoul six people died when a mud swept derrummbe residential areas at the foot of a mountain, said Lee Sun-myeong, a city official.

The water filled some metro stations and gushed from the sewers. About 800 homes were flooded, according to disaster officials of the city who refused to give his name because of government policies. No deaths were reported. The source said that 23 roads were closed in the city. The local television showed rescue workers stranded on hillsides.

Another avalanche occurred on a mountain south of Seoul, flooding a road near a neighborhood. No injuries were reported immediately. The Seoul Metropolitan Police issued a traffic alert emergency and mobilized more police to tackle the problems caused by heavy rains. Chuncheon, television showed a town full of debris.

Rescuers carried on a stretcher to a person dazed and covered in mud from head to toe. Others, also covered in mud, were hobbled to the ambulance as rescue workers used shovels to remove mud and bulldozers removed large debris.

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