South Korea’s president has pledged to completely revamp the country’s approach to extreme weather caused by climate change following the devastating impact of monsoon rains, which resulted in the deaths of at least 39 people.
Rescue workers are still searching for nine individuals who are missing across the nation, including in central Cheongju, where flash floods trapped vehicles in a flooded underpass.
With South Korea currently experiencing its peak summer monsoon season, continuous heavy rainfall has led to widespread flooding, landslides, and overflowing rivers, reservoirs, and dams.
President Yoon Suk Yeol emphasized the need to acknowledge that such extreme weather events will become more frequent and called for a fundamental change in the perception that they are unavoidable anomalies.
He stressed the importance of extraordinary determination to enhance the country’s preparedness and response to climate change.
South Korea plans to mobilize all available resources, including the military and police, for rescue operations. With more heavy rain expected in the coming days, the president highlighted the ongoing risk and urged continued vigilance.
The majority of casualties occurred in North Gyeongsang province, where massive landslides engulfed houses and swept away people caught in overflowing rivers.