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Heaviest rainfall in 115 years hits Seoul, leaving 8 people dead and 7 others missing, South Korea

seoul flood august 8 2022 f

Record-breaking rainfall hit parts of South Korea’s capital Seoul and surrounding regions on August 8, 2022, leaving at least 8 people dead and 7 others missing. At least 14 people have been injured and more than 80 rescued from flooded streams. 391 people in the capital area were left homeless.

Parts of Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi Province experienced above 100 mm/h (3.93 inches/h) of rain Monday night, with Seoul’s Dongjak district receiving 141.5 mm/h (5.57 inches/h).1

The hourly precipitation total of 141.5 mm (5.57 inches) in Dongjak is also the greatest for Seoul, beating the previous record of 118.6 mm (4.66 inches) set in the summer of 1942.

The automated weather station in Dongjak of the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) recorded daily precipitation of 381.5 mm (15.01 inches) on Monday, which was significantly higher than the official record of 354.7 mm (13.96 inches) set in August 1920 and the highest since the country’s first modern weather record system was implemented in 1907.

south korea clouds and rainfall 04z august 8 2022 1
Image credit: JMA/Himawari-8, Zoom Earth, The Watchers. Acquired at 04:00 UTC on August 9, 2022
south korea clouds and rainfall 04z august 8 2022
Image credit: JMA/Himawari-8, Zoom Earth, The Watchers. Acquired at 04:00 UTC on August 9, 2022

However, KMA said that the most recent data would not be included in the official record book since it was not taken at the agency’s standard weather observation station in the Jongno neighborhood of Seoul.

As of 06:00 LT on August 9, the country’s central and other regions were receiving rains of up to 50 mm (1.96 inches) per hour, with the accumulated precipitation in Seoul reaching 422 mm (16.6 inches) from August 8 to 08:00 LT on August 9.

The resulting floods killed 5 people and left 4 others missing in Seoul, while in Gyeonggi Province, 3 people had died and 2 others were missing. One individual is still missing in Gangwon Province.

At least 765 facilities were damaged, while about 80 highway segments, 3 subterranean roadways, and 26 riverfront parking spaces were closed due to safety concerns.

The downpours also rendered numerous public facilities inoperable, with 8 instances of flooded railroads reported in Seoul, Incheon, and other cities, as well as the temporary suspension of service on sections of several railway and subway lines, including Seoul Subway Line 4 and the Gyeongin Line.

As of August 9, 8 passenger ferry routes remained out of operation while access remains restricted to 156 hiking trails in five national mountain parks, including Mount Bukhan on the northern outskirts of Seoul.

The meteorological office predicts up to 300 mm (11.81 inches) of rain in the metropolitan region from August 9 to 11, with southern Gyeonggi Province expected to get more than 350 mm (13.77 inches).

References:

1 (5th LD) 8 dead, 7 missing in record rainfall in Seoul, surrounding areas – Yonhap News Agency – August 9, 2022

Featured image credit: Korea Now (stillshot)

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