Seoul: Nearly 8,000 people in South Korea are yet to return home after torrential rains pounded the country last week, despite the monsoon rain coming to a lull on Wednesday, officials said.
Across the country, a cumulative 16,514 people had temporarily evacuated their homes, and of them, 7,843 were still staying at relatives’ houses or shelters set up at senior centres, village halls or schools, according to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters.
The torrential rain that swept the country last week left 44 people dead and six others missing nationwide, reports Yonhap News Agency.
In particular, the flooding of the Osong underground roadway in the central city of Cheongju on July 15 led to 14 deaths, when a nearby river overflowed after an embankment was brought down by rising water levels due to heavy rain.
Downpours have also damaged 1,043 public facilities and 948 other private properties, with the damage centered around South Chungcheong province.
Houses were also destroyed, with 332 reported to have been inundated and 90 others damaged, according to officials.
Farmland over half the size of Seoul, amounting to 32,894.5 hectares, was flooded, and 797,000 livestock died from the downpour.
Meanwhile, President Yoon Suk Yeol on Wednesday designated 13 areas hard-hit from the downpours as special disaster zones, paving the way for them to be eligible for financial support in recovery work, relief funds for victims and other benefits.