Wildfire victims receive public and private aid
Affected individuals and companies will receive financial aid and emergency supplies like food and water. Volunteers will assist people and enterprises in the disaster area.
A wildfire in Gangwon swept through Sokcho, Goseong County and Gangneung, killing at least one person and requiring the evacuation of 4,000.
The government has not yet made an official estimate of the total damage, but it did say that produce and agricultural facilities were destroyed and the operation of factories were halted.
The government declared a national disaster in the counties of Goseong and Inje and in the cities of Sokcho, Gangneung and Donghae in Gangwon.
The Financial Services Commission said Friday that financial institutions, including the Korea Development Bank and the Industrial Bank of Korea, will postpone the due dates for the repayment of existing loans and guarantees for affected small- and mid-sized companies as well as for individuals involved in agriculture, forestry and fisheries in the area.
The Credit Guarantee Fund for Farmers and Fishermen will provide guarantees of up to 300 million won ($270,000) for individuals and groups involved in agriculture and fishery.
Shinhan Bank said it will provide loans worth 200 billion won to individuals and companies affected by the wildfire. Individuals can borrow up to 50 million won, while companies can borrow up to 500 million won.
Special concessionary rates will be offered.
KB Kookmin Bank will offer up to 20 million won to individuals and 500 million won to companies. Woori Bank will offer up to 20 million won to individuals and 500 million won to small- and mid-sized enterprises.
Samsung Group will donate 2 billion won, provide 500 relief kits and send volunteers.
LG Group is donating 1 billion won, while LG Electronics employees will be repairing electronic consumer devices.
Hyundai Heavy Industries Group donated 100 million won to Hope Bridge - Korea Disaster Relief Association, a private group founded in 1961, and provided emergency supplies directly.
Hyundai Construction Equipment and Hyundai Electric will provide equipment, such as excavators.
Retailers are contributing food and water to victims, firefighters and volunteers.
Emart said it will deliver emergency food supplies worth 20 million won, including instant rice, instant noodles and toilet paper, while 7-Eleven announced it will provide food for 2,000 people.
SPC Group, parent of Paris Baguette, will contribute 3,000 loaves of bread.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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