South Korea landslide
Walls of mud barreling down a hill buried 10 college students sleeping in a resort cabin and flash floods submerged the streets and subway stations in Seoul, killing at least 36 people Wednesday in South Korea’s heaviest rains this year.
The students were engulfed by a landslide in Chuncheon, about 68 miles (110 kilometers) northeast of Seoul, said fire marshal Byun In-soo. A married couple and a convenience store owner also died. Witnesses interviewed on television said the landslide sounded like a massive explosion or a freight train. They described people screaming as buildings were carried away by rivers of mud.
About 670 firefighters, soldiers, police and others rushed to rescue those trapped and extract the dead from the mud and wreckage in Chuncheon, where 24 others were injured and several buildings destroyed.
Fast-moving mudwaters filled the streets in Seoul on Wednesday, sending residents scrambling to the roofs of their partially submerged cars. Water filled some subway stations and spewed from sewers. TV images showed people in one flooded subway station using shovels, brooms and a wooden board in an effort to keep more rain from coming in. Yonhap reported Internet and wireless connections failed in southern Seoul due to power failures.
Vehicles are stalled on Olympic Road, the capital’s main road, after heavy rain in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, July 27, 2011.
The heavy rain since Tuesday left about 620 people homeless and flooded 720 houses and about 100 vehicles throughout South Korea, the emergency management agency said. About 17 inches (440 millimeters) of rain fell on Seoul and more than 13 inches (340 millimeters) on Chuncheon in the last two days, about 15 times more than the average two-day rainfall at this time of year, according to the state-run Korea Meteorological Administration.
People drive vehicles through a flooded road in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, July 27, 2011.
Weather officials said another 10 inches (254 millimeters) could fall in northern South Korea, including Seoul, through Friday.