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Gov't to designate rain-hit areas as special disaster zone while heavier rain is expected next week Updated: 2022-08-12 11:26:40 KST

Relief efforts in response to the damage caused by the recent rain continue on this Friday but quite a number of roads and parks along the Han River here in capital Seoul remain closed.
Authorities say the death toll from the downpour stands at 13 while 6 people remain missing.
Lee Eun-jin starts us off.

South Korea is grappling with the damage caused by the record downpours that flooded homes and roads in the country's central region earlier this week.
According to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters, 13 people died as a result of the extreme weather conditions while the search continues for 6 that are still missing.
At least 18 people were reported to have been injured.

The heavy rain forced nearly 5-thousand people, mostly in the greater Seoul area, to evacuate their homes.
Some 9 square kilometers of farmland were also submerged, that's an area bigger than one,600 football fields.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Seoul City announced plans to spend 1.5 trillion won, or 1.1-5 billion U.S. dollars, over the next decade to build six large-scale underground rainwater storage and drainage facilities, also called deep underground tunnels, to better handle such natural disasters.

Those plans won't come soon enough, however, as more heavy rain is expected next week which is likely to cause further damage across the country.
A strong rain front is expected to hit the Seoul Metropolitan area starting Monday night and Chung-cheong-do Provinces by Tuesday morning.
While the duration of the downpours may not be long, even more rain is expected than in the torrents already seen due to lingering atmospheric conditions.

"The heavy rain last week has already weakened the ground. There are concerns of additional damage Less rain than before would cause damage but we're looking at heavier rain."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo on Friday instructed the government to swiftly take steps to designate special disaster zones for areas hit by the heavy rain earlier this week.
Such designations will make them eligible for government financial support, which includes recovery work as well as relief funds for victims.

While the Liberation Day long weekend is expected to have clearer weather, people are advised to prepare for heavier downpours next week to minimize further damages.
Lee Eunjin, Arirang News.
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