Record rain leaves at least 8 dead in South Korean capital

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At least eight people died in and around Seoul overnight, South Korean authorities said on Tuesday, after torrential rain knocked out power, caused landslides and left roads and subways submerged.

The southern part of the national capital received more than 100mm (3.9 inches) of rain per hour on late Monday, with some parts of the city hit with 141.5mm, the heaviest rainfall in decades, according to Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA).

The accumulated rainfall in Seoul since midnight Monday stood at 451mm as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, with more forecast.

President Yoon Suk-yeol on Tuesday visited a semi-basement apartment where three family members had died the night before after swift moving flood waters filled the space.

The dangers of such underground flats, called banjiha, were famously depicted in a flooding scene in the 2020 Oscar-winning film “Parasite.”

Yoon told the area’s residents he would try to ensure their lives returned to normal as quickly as possible, and he instructed officials to look at measures to better ensure housing safety, according to a statement from his office.

At least five people had died in Seoul and three others in the neighbouring Gyeonggi Province by early Tuesday, the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters said.

Four, including the three family members, had died after being drowned in flooded buildings, one was believed to have been electrocuted, another person was found under the wreckage of a bus stop, and the others two died in a landslide, it said.

At least nine people were injured, while seven were missing.

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