At least 40 dead in South Korea after extreme rainfall

SEOUL: At least 40 people have died in South Korea after extreme rainfall caused widespread flooding and landslides across the country.

According to reports, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said there will be an “overhaul” of how the country combats severe weather conditions resulting from climate change.

“Extreme weather events like this will become commonplace. We must accept that climate change is happening and deal with it,” he said on Monday, ahead of his visit to the flood-affected North Gyeongsang province.

South Korea will “mobilise all available resources” including military and police to assist rescue efforts, he said.

Most of the casualties, including nineteen of the dead and eight of the missing, were from North Gyeongsang where massive landslides in the mountainous area engulfed houses with people inside.

Some of the people reported missing were swept away when a river overflowed in the province, according to the South Korean interior ministry.

Other casualties came from a tunnel tragedy in the central city of Cheongju. The 685m-long flooded on Saturday when a nearby river overflowed and an embankment collapsed, trapping vehicles in floodwater and killing at least thirteen.

The total death toll is still unknown, and expected to rise as rescue operations continue.

South Korea is experiencing one of its most intense summer monsoon seasons on record, with heavy downpours in the past week causing floods, landslides and power cuts across the country.

More torrential rain has been forecast until Wednesday.

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