Government to declare deluge-hit regions special disaster zones

05-Aug-2020 Intellasia | KoreaTimes | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Government to declare deluge-hit regions special disaster zonesThe government is moving to designate special disaster zones in the nation’s interior, paving the way for state support for the central regions that have seen losses of life and property damage due to deadly downpours.

Prime minister Chung Sye-kyun ordered the relevant ministries to review the necessity of the declaration of special disaster zones, during a Cabinet meeting in Seoul, Tuesday.

“Ministries should map out plans promptly, including the declaration of special disaster zones, to support the regions hit hard by the latest torrential rains,” Chung said. “Government officials should continue to stay on high alert to prevent additional loss of life and minimise property damage.”

The comments came as the country’s interior regions including Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and North Chungcheong Province have been suffering heavy rain since Saturday.

The declaration of the special disaster zones allows the administration to use state money to financially support damage recovery. It also allows affected people to receive state support for their livelihood costs.

According to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters under the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, 13 people have been killed, with 13 others still missing as of 10:30 a.m., Tuesday.

The fatalities include a family of three with a two-year-old boy who were killed Monday after a guesthouse they operated was engulfed in a mudslide in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province.

The massive downpours have also forced the suspension of some train services in mountainous areas and the shutdown of roads and low-lying bridges in the capital region.

The disaster authorities are staying vigilant as the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) forecast that the interior will continue to experience rainfall of 50 millimeters to 100 millimeters per hour until Wednesday, as the nation is coming under the influence of Typhoon Hagupit.

According to the state-run weather agency, the fourth typhoon of the season reached waters 280 kilometers northeast of China’s Fuzhou at 4 a.m., Tuesday.

The total amount of rainfall was forecast to amount to up to 500 millimeters from Saturday to Wednesday.

The monsoon season in the central regions of the nation, which began on June 24 this year, has lasted 42 days as of Wednesday, the fourth-longest on record.

The interior of the country has experienced the longest rainy season in 2013, lasting 49 days.

The KMA noted the latest torrential rains that hit Korea as well as China and Japan were likely caused by global warming.

“Climate changes in the Arctic and Siberia have led to massive downpours in East Asia including Korea,” a KMA official said.


Category: Korea

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