Following the devastating floods and landslides that claimed the lives of at least 39 people in South Korea, President Yoon Suk-yeol has issued a directive for a comprehensive rescue and recovery operation. The casualties include 13 individuals who were found deceased in a submerged underpass in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.
Upon his return to Seoul from Ukraine, President Yoon held an intra-agency meeting to discuss the response to the disaster and urged authorities to exert their utmost efforts in rescuing the victims. Expressing his deep sadness, the president offered prayers for the deceased and extended words of comfort to their grieving families.
Recognizing the gravity of the situation, President Yoon emphasized the need to mobilize all available resources. He also committed to providing support for the recovery work, including the designation of affected areas as special disaster zones.
Nine individuals, including eight in North Gyeongsang, are still missing, while 34 people have been reported injured in the aftermath of heavy rains in South Korea. The torrential rains resulted in the evacuation of approximately 10,570 individuals from their homes, with 28,607 households experiencing power outages.
During a disaster response meeting, Yoon emphasized that such extreme weather events would become more frequent. He urged the public to acknowledge the reality of climate change and take proactive measures to address it. Yoon called for a shift in perception, stressing that considering extreme weather as an unavoidable anomaly needs to be completely revised. He further emphasized the need for extraordinary determination to enhance the country’s preparedness and response capabilities.
While South Korea experiences flooding during the summer monsoon season, the country typically exhibits a high level of preparedness, resulting in relatively low death tolls.