Death Toll Rises To 40 In South Korea Floods


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Torrential rains have caused flooding and landslides leading to the deaths of at least 40 people as South Korea’s president has vowed to “completely overhaul” the country’s emergency preparedness for extreme weather conditions.

South Korea’s rainy season reached its peak as torrential downpours pummeled much of the country beginning July 13, according to Reuters. Massive landslides over the weekend left at least 19 people dead and eight missing when their homes were completely engulfed and swept away, CBS News reported.

At least 13 more people were killed when an underpass in Cheongju, 70 miles south of Seoul, flooded early Saturday morning. The flooding left more than 10 vehicles — including a bus — trapped. First responders have warned the death toll could rise as they work to recover the victims, the outlet continued.

President Yoon Suk Yeol has vowed a complete overhaul of the country’s approach to extreme weather in the wake of the deadly incidents, blaming at least some of the deaths on a “mismanagement of danger zones,” CBS News noted. Yoon argued preemptive evacuations and road closures should have been undertaken as “basic principles of preventing the loss of lives in disaster response,” according to the outlet. (RELATED: Flooding And Mudslides Reportedly Leave Two Dead, At Least Six Missing In Japan)

“We’ve repeatedly emphasized access control over dangerous areas and preemptive evacuation since last year, but if basic principles of disaster response are not kept on the spot, it is difficult to ensure public safety,” Yoon continued, according to Reuters.

After visiting the region of the country affected most by the landslides, North Gyeongsang province, Yoon vowed to do everything in his power to restore a village that had been completely devastated.

“I’ve never seen something like this in my life, hundreds of tons of rocks rolling down from the mountain,” he stated, according to CBS News.

Yoon warned citizens due to the earth’s changing climate, “extreme weather” events will be more commonplace.

“The rainy season is not over yet, and the forecast is now that there will be torrential rain again tomorrow,” he continued.