[EDITORIALS]Rush aid to storm victimsTyphoon Rusa has left the nation with more than 200 persons either dead or missing and 1 trillion won ($831 million) of property damage. The suffering in the flood-stricken areas nationwide is beyond description. Although emergency restoration goes on, the 400,000 flood victims suffer from the sweltering heat and a shortage of drinking water. In villages that are still cut off from outside access, residents are struggling with a shortage of daily necessities.
The flood victims are in urgent need of government assistance to help them return to a normal life.
In 10 cities, including Gangneung, where running water is unavailable, citizens are engaged literally in a fight to gain access to potable water. Residents line up for the water supply truck. But they cannot get enough drinking water since supplies are short. They are in need of water for cleaning and washing. We understand their suffering, especially in the heat, but the government's effort to increase the water supply is marred by a scarcity of fresh water sources in the nearby areas. The problem must be solved by either developing underground water sources quickly or increasing the supply of bottled water.
In Gangwon and North Gyeongsang provinces, 12 villages are isolated because of damage to bridges or roads. More than 16,000 residents were effected and the number is even larger if residents in smaller settlements in the area are included. The government authorities are supplying drinking water, food and cooking oil to these areas via helicopter, but the residents are still suffering from various inconveniences and a shortage of daily needs. The authorities should make concerted efforts to open access roads to these areas.
Since the flood stricken area is so vast, concentrated relief work in some of the areas would mean thin efforts in other places. From many places we hear requests for more helping hands and equipment. A farmer even set a fire in front of the local government office in Sangju, North Gyeongsang province, demanding restoration work on a road leading up to his village. The government can console flood victims by mobilizing all available manpower and equipment to repair the flood damage.