South Korea floods, landslides kill 21 as heavy rains continue

A bus is submerged in floodwaters following heavy rains on Thursday in Paju, South Korea. (AP pic)

SEOUL: At least 21 people have died after 46 days of heavy rains in South Korea, with the country’s longest monsoon in seven years causing more flooding, landslides and evacuations on Saturday.

More than 3,000 people had been evacuated as of 6am local time on Saturday, according to Ministry of the Interior and Safety data, as rains battered the southern part of the Korean peninsula. Eleven people are missing.

About 100 metres (109.36 yards) of levee collapsed at the Seomjin River in the southern edge of the peninsula on Saturday and flooded the area, an official at the South Jeolla province said, with about 1,900 people evacuated in the province including about 500 from around the river.

The country’s forestry agency has raised landslide warnings to its highest level in every region except the holiday island of Jeju.

Five homes were buried in a landslide on Friday from a mountain behind a village in Gokseong, South Jeolla province, killing five people. Three people have been rescued.

In neighbouring North Korea, state media KCNA reported that Premier Pak Pong-ju, the country’s third-highest ranking official, inspected flood damage to submerged fields and crops in southwest regions of the country.