17 July 2023
Multiple landslides triggered by intense rainfall in South Korea
Across the Northern Hemisphere, intense rainfall is triggering devastating landslides and flooding. The latest area to be affected is South Korea, which has had several days of heavy rainfall, with more forecast for the early part of this week. At least 40 people have lost their lives. The most deadly single event has been the horrific flooding of a tunnel in Cheongju, North Chungcheong province, in which 13 people are known to have died, and one further person remains missing.
However, in North Gyeongsang at least 19 people have died, the majority of whom were killed by landslides. The highest profile landslide was captured on a video that has been widely circulated and is shown at the start of this clip on Youtube:-
A news report in Korean indicates that there was precursory activity at this site, including several smaller collapses, that meant that the road was closed. It is interesting that the site had a rockfall shelter in place, although it was probably not designed for an event on this scale. Remarkably, images since the landslide show the shelter still mostly intact:-
JoongAng daily has an article, also in Korean, that describes landslides in North Gyeongsang. It includes accounts of the loss of:
- “a 67-year-old man who died trying to save his 25-year-old daughter from a landslide in Yeongju”
- a landslide that killed one person and left another injured in Gimcheon-myeon, Yecheon County
- a landslide in Yecheon County that killed a woman
- a landslide in Gimcheon-myeon that killed two people
The landslide below occurred in Yecheon County on 16 July 2-23. Reports indicate that one person was killed and two more are missing:-
More information will emerge in the coming days about these devastating landslides in South Korea.