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Seoul, July 15 At least seven people were killed, three others reportedly missing and thousands forcibly to evacuated from their homes as torrential rains battered South Korea, authorities said Saturday.
The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters said two people died in a building collapse triggered by a landslide in Nonsan, South Chungcheong province, on Friday, reports Yonhap News Agency.
One person was killed in a mudslide in the central city of Sejong and housing collapses killed three people in Yeongju and Cheongyang counties.
In the central city of Cheongju, a car was struck by a landslide, killing one person.
The death toll is likely to increase as government agencies assess damage reported across the nation.
Two people, including a woman in her 60s, are feared to have been killed when a landslide destroyed a home in Bonghwa, North Gyeongsang province, at around 9 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Some 6,400 residents in the central county of Goesan were evacuated, as the Goesan Dam began to overflow at around 6.30 a.m.
Many low-lying villages near the dam were submerged, and roads and bridges connecting the villages were cut off, trapping some residents in their homes.
A total of 1,567 people from 1,002 households in 13 cities and counties had sought temporary shelters as of Saturday morning, as heavy downpours continued to fall across the country.
Among them, 1,114 people could not return home due to safety concerns.
Thirty-one cases of damage to public property were reported, including 10 mudslides and six cases where roads were destroyed, while 71 cases of damage to private property were reported, including 22 flooded homes.
Electricity blackouts were reported in 13 cities and counties nationwide.
While power has been restored in most places, more than 8,300 households in Mungyeong, Yeongju and Yecheon in North Gyeongsang province still don’t have electricity.
Floods swept away crops and roads. Nationwide, 97 roads remain closed, while 384 trails in 19 national parks are closed.
The Korea Railroad Corp. (KORAIL) suspended all regular trains and some KTX bullet trains that run through the country’s central inland region due to heavy rains.
The Korea Meteorological Administration issued heavy rain warnings for the provinces of Gyeonggi, Chungcheong, Gangwon, North Jeolla and South Jeolla.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security raised the natural disaster level posed by torrential rains to the highest in the three-tier system.