Landslides Cause Havoc in South Korea, 32 Dead

Heavy rains cause mudslides to sweep across South Korea killing at least 32 people.

The landslides demolished houses and tourist facilities along the mountainside on Wednesday.

Chuncheon, a resort village 60 miles east of Seoul, quickly became a casualty of the mudslides. University students running a volunteer camp for local kids were caught unaware Tuesday night when mud swamped the village around midnight.

An official at the Disaster & Safety Management Office, Kim Jong Sun, confirmed the number of casualties to Bloomberg. According to Sun, at least 13 people were killed in Chuncheon, and three died in Gwanju, Gyeonggi province.

The National Emergency Management Agency also confirmed that sixteen people were found dead in southern Seoul.

Commuters were greeted by blocked roads, buried cars, and flooded boulevards Wednesday morning.

A 57-year-old survivor of the Chuncheon mudslide recounted his experience to the national news agency Yonhap.

“I heard this terrible rumble. I woke up others and we rushed out. In a split second, our motel was under mud,” he said.

“I heard university students yelling ‘Help me!’ and saw some of them crawling out, coated in mud.”

The torrential rains flooded 720 houses and around 100 automobiles throughout South Korea. According to the National Emergency Management Agency, an estimated 620 people are now homeless.

In a two-month rainy season, this is the highest number of casualties South Korea has seen. About 16 inches of rain has hit the country since late Tuesday and forecasters predict there is more to come.

South Korea will see another 10-11 inches of rain before the storm moves east on Thursday.