28 Jul 2011

Deadly landslides hit South Korea

9:10 pm on 28 July 2011

At least 41 people are dead and 12 more missing after the heaviest rains in a century lashed the South Korean capital Seoul and surrounding areas.

Wild weather has battered the central region of the country since Tuesday, causing rivers to burst their banks, disrupting travel and triggering power outages.

At least 50 centimetres of rain has fallen in the heaviest deluge for July since 1907.

In the worst single accident, a landslide crashed into a mountain resort at Chuncheon, about 100km east of Seoul, destroying three small hotels and killing at least 13 people.

Soldiers were drafted in to help with the rescue operation at the resort after a wall of mud flattened the small hotels just after midnight.

More than 40 holidaymakers, mostly university students, were sleeping in the inns when the landslide hit.

Another landslide on the outskirts of Seoul buried dozens of houses and killed at least 10 residents, local media reported, adding that one villager was missing.

A tributary of the Han River running through Gonjiam, about 50km southeast of Seoul, had overflowed and killed five residents, Yonhap news agency reported.