South Korean floods kill 13, displace more than 1,000 from homes

Rescue workers evacuate residents on a rubber boat in Cheonan. (AP pic)

SEOUL: Days of heavy rain caused floods in South Korea that have forced more than 1,000 people from their homes, killing at least 13 with another 13 missing, authorities said on Tuesday.

Deaths were reported from landslides and vehicles swept away by waters that disaster officials said inundated more than 5,751 hectares of farmland and flooded parts of key highways and bridges in the capital, Seoul.

President Moon Jae-in was set to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday, after he had urged national and regional authorities to “make all-out efforts to prevent further loss of life” the previous day.

Work crews also returned to operation by Tuesday most of the flooded roads and bridges along the Han River in central Seoul that had backed up traffic and damaged infrastructure, the Yonhap news agency said.

In neighbouring North Korea, state media warned of possible flooding, saying that some areas were also experiencing heavy rainfall.

Citing unidentified South Korean government sources, Yonhap said North Korea opened the floodgates of a border dam on Monday without advance notice to its neighbour.