Seoul takes brunt of brutal rainstorms

Home > National > Social Affairs

print dictionary print

Seoul takes brunt of brutal rainstorms

테스트

Vehicles are submerged on a flooded road in Daechi-dong, southern Seoul, yesterday morning, after torrential rain hit the capital and caused widespread damage and inconvenience. [NEWSIS]


The fiercest torrential rain in almost a century battered Seoul and other parts of the country, triggering fatal landslides that buried 10 students, turning highways into canals, knocking out electricity to neighborhoods and flooding large parts of Gangnam District, the city’s richest area.

Seoul received 440.5 millimeters (17.3 inches) of rain from Tuesday to 6 p.m. yesterday. The most precipitation recorded in the capital city for a single day was 354.7 millimeters on Aug. 2, 1920. Southern Seoul was the hardest hit part of the capital, at one point hitting a record 60 millimeters of rain per hour, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.

According to the Central Disaster Safety Measure Headquarters, a total of 30 people were killed as of 6 p.m. yesterday and seven others are missing. Thirteen people died in an early morning landslide yesterday that buried a resort cabin in Chuncheon, Gangwon, 110 kilometers (68 miles) northeast of Seoul. According to Chuncheon fire authorities, 10 of the 13 dead were Inha University students from Incheon, who were doing volunteer work in the area.

A student who survived the landslide told Yonhap News Agency: “I was sleeping on the second floor of the resort when I heard the thundering sound of a landslide. The stairs collapsed and I was buried beneath mud.”

Twenty five others were reported to be injured, four in critical condition. The rain also triggered several landslides from Mount Umyeon in Umyeon-dong, a well-heeled neighborhood in southern Seoul, killing 17 residents.

One of the victims was Yang Myeong-suk, wife of Koo Hak-su, the chairman of Shinsegae Corp. According to the Seocho Fire Station, Koo’s 62-year-old wife went to the basement of her Umyeon-dong house at 9 a.m. yesterday to try to drain it, but the waters rose suddenly and she drowned.

Thirty residents from the area were injured and sent to Gangnam St. Mary’s Hospital. Three are in intensive care. Police and fire authorities ordered residents in the areas affected by landslides to move out to temporary shelters.

A landslide also hit the Educational Broadcasting System’s offices in Umyeon-dong. The studio was evacuated and no one was injured.

Seoul’s roads descended into chaos in various parts due to the downpour.

테스트

An emergency team yesterday recovers a corpse from an apartment complex hit by a landslide on Mount Umyeon in Bangbae-dong, southern Seoul. Landslides from the mountain killed at least 17 people. [YONHAP]


The roads flooded around Gangnam Station on line No. 2, Sadang Station on line Nos. 2 and 4, and Yangjae Station and Daechi Station on line No. 3, and many drivers had to abandon their cars in the fast-moving, muddy waters. Others scrambled onto their cars’ roofs to await help.

“I had to abandon my car because rain started coming in through the doors,” said Kim Na-sik, 34, who was on his way to his office near Daechi Station. “I can’t believe I even made it to work. I was worried about leaving my car behind but we had no choice. All the people driving around me had to abandon their cars.”

Public transportation was also disrupted all over the city.

“The bus I was in nearly reached Gangnam Station but couldn’t go any further and the driver told us to get off the bus,” said Park Ji-eun, 27, who works at an office near Gangnam Station. “The rain started entering through the closed doors. When I got off the bus, the water was above my knees. It was horrible.”

According to the Seoul city government, about 800 houses were flooded and 23 roads were closed throughout the city. Flooding was also reported on Olympic Highway heading west along the Han River. Firemen had to demolish part of the median strip to allow cars that were heading west to make a U-turn.

According to the Han River Flood Control Office, a dam located just east of Seoul was discharging 16,400 tons of water per second yesterday and 1,000 tons per seconds days before the recent downpours.

Airlines also reported that they were suspending some domestic flights, though international flights were unaffected.

Asiana Airlines said its early morning round-trip flight between Gimpo International Airport near Seoul and Ulsan Airport was suspended due to heavy rain in Ulsan. Korean Air suspended several flights between Gimpo and Ulsan, Wonju and Jeju.

Yesterday’s rain also caused blackouts in numerous parts of Seoul and Gyeonggi. A total of 66,093 households were hit with power failures and 14,083 didn’t have power restored as of yesterday evening, according to the Central Disaster Safety Measure Headquarters.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, a mass of hot and humid air from the south merged with a cold, dry air mass over the Korean Peninsula, which produced the deluge. The rain will continue until this morning, and central regions will likely see up to 300 millimeters of rain, said the KMA.


By Yim Seung-hye [sharon@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

우면산 ‘산사태 쓰나미’ 아파트 3개 층 덮쳐… 건물 안까지 자동차 밀려 들어와

전쟁터 같은 우면산 주변

“믿을 수가 없어요. 여긴 생지옥입니다.” 27일 서울 방배동 남태령 전원마을의 주민 장영자(69·여)씨는 넋이 나간 듯 중얼거렸다. 이 마을은 우면산 산사태로 오후 8시 현재 7명이 사망하는 등 가장 큰 인명 피해를 본 곳이다.

 이날 오후 기자가 찾았을 때 마을은 토사와 쓰러진 나무들 사이에 하나의 섬처럼 떠 있었다. 대부분의 건물엔 1층까지 토사가 들어차 있었다. 일부 차량까지 토사에 밀려 건물 안으로 들어와 있었다.

 119 구조대는 건물 창을 통해 토사에 묻힌 50대 여성을 구조 중이었다. 장씨는 “옆집 사는 청년이 출근하려고 나가다 사고를 당했다. 우리 건물 반지하방에 사는 아가씨는 싱크대 위로 올라간 뒤 위 창문으로 겨우 탈출했다”며 사고 당시의 급박한 상황을 전했다. 사거리 모서리에 있는 정갑균(58)씨 집 반지하방 세입자는 정씨 등이 방범 창을 뜯어내고 창문으로 구출하지 않았더라면 큰 변을 당할 뻔했다. 이 마을 노인회장 이모(75)씨는 집에 물이 넘치자 밖으로 나왔다가 토사에 휩쓸려 운명을 달리했다. 세 살배기 송모(3)군도 어머니와 따로 반 지하방에서 자고 있다가 집에 물이 차 익사하고 말았다.

한 주민은 “나무 세 그루가 야산 쪽에서 서서히 밀려 내려오는 모습을 봤다. 나무가 전봇대와 부딪혀 쓰러지면서 나무 뒤에 밀려 오던 토사가 순식간에 휩쓸려 내려오기 시작했다”고 전했다. 주민 이춘심(62)씨는 “피해 복구를 하려고 해도 전기도 수도도 끊긴 상황에 전화도 잘 안 되는데 어떻게 해야 하느냐”며 “이 살기 좋고 한적한 마을이 순식간에 폐허가 됐다”고 말했다.

 방배동 남부순환로 일대 역시 아수라장이 됐다. 10차선 도로의 2.3㎞ 정도가 나무와 토사로 뒤덮여 거대한 진흙바다로 변했다. 출근 중이던 시민들이 긴급 대피하느라 버린 수십 대의 차가 흙더미에 묻혀 있었다. 산 중턱에 있던 공사장 컨테이너박스는 도로 맞은편까지 50m가량을 굴러 내려와 아파트 담장에 박혔다. 인근 아파트 2개 동 1~3층에는 토사와 나무가 거실까지 밀려들어와 있었다. 이로 인해 입주민 40여 명이 한때 고립되기도 했다.

 우면산터널 남쪽 진입로에 자리한 형촌마을에서는 신세계 구학서 회장의 부인 양명숙(62)씨가 숨졌다. 이 마을 전체 120세대 중 60세대가 한때 고립되기도 했다. 경찰에 따르면 양씨는 단독주택 지하실에 물을 빼내러 들어갔다가 산사태로 밀려든 토사가 출입구를 막아 변을 당했다. 8군데서 산사태가 일어난 우면산 일대 주민들은 “서초구청의 늑장 공사가 이런 사태를 일으킨 것”이라고 언성을 높였다. 방배동 주민 정권영(56)씨는 “주민들이 장마 전에 공사를 끝내달라고 구청에 자주 민원을 했다. 산 중턱이 흙만 잔뜩 뒤덮여 있어 걱정이 됐는데 이런 일이 나고야 말았다”고 말했다. 남태령 전원마을에 사는 심모(65)씨는 “지난해 태풍 곤파스로 우면산 나무들이 많이 휘어져 불안해하는 주민이 많았다. 제거해 달라고 구청에 요구했는데 반응이 없었다”고 했다. 이날 서초동 예술의전당은 전시 전체와 일부 공연을 취소했다. 예술의전당 측은 “비 피해로 전시관이 전면 휴관한 것은 1988년 개관 이래 처음”이라고 설명했다.

글=남형석 기자, 이보배(중앙대 신방과)·현혜란(연세대 영문과) 인턴기자

More in Social Affairs

Seoul sues Sarang Jeil Church for W4 billion

'Traceless' infections are Korea's new coronavirus worry

K-pop band Seventeen to promote Seoul with cooking, style tips

Recovery operations

Paju DMZ tours to resume, 11 months after closure due to swine fever outbreak

Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)

What’s Popular Now