Flood victims housed in temporary shelters to follow quarantine rules as restoration is underway
Updated: 2020-08-11 17:01:45 KST
Though it looks like we may be experiencing a respite from the rain, thousands who have lost homes from landslides and flooding triggered by the days-long downpour remain in temporary shelters unable to return home.
Our Kim Do-yeon is live in Cherwon County near the inter-Korean border - one of the hardest hit areas in South Korea.
Do-yeon, so, you're at one of the biggest shelters in the country.
Tell us, how are the people doing over there? I understand special measures are also in place as a precaution against the shelters becoming coronavirus hotspots?
Conn-young, that's right.
I'm at an elementary school, which is temporarily home to people from the town of Igil-ri, Cheorwon County, near the DMZ.
Behind me are 27 tents housing 35 families, and they're spaced at least two meters apart to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.
The shelter is sanitized twice a day, and the people inside are constantly having their temperatures checked.
This shelter is fairly big, but they had to open another one on Sunday because more people were arriving and there wasn't enough room to space everyone out.
One person said he slept in his car because he was worried about that.
Local government workers say volunteers are also a concern.
"We're somewhat worried about people visiting from outside. That being said, the county government is ensuring that their temperatures are checked and that they sanitize their hands."
Do-yeon, the county you're in - Cherwon - has been designated as one of the special disaster zones.
Recovery and restoration efforts must be well underway. How is that designation helping with the recovery efforts? By when can we expect the victims to be able to return to their homes?
Conn-young, the designation of special disaster zone means the area will receive financial support from the national government.
For example, a family with a flooded house here in Cherwon will receive nearly 850 U.S. dollars in the form of disaster relief fund among other financial support.
That being said, individuals and local governments are in charge of their own restoration work.
As for the status here, it didn't rain today and the work is well underway, but they still don't know when they can go back.
This area saw more rain in the past ten days than in the whole of last year, causing a river nearby to flood so there was serious damage, and it was apparent.
While much of the temporary restoration is done, there were delays because two landmines were found last week in local villages, carried down from the border by the rain.
Local troops made sure the towns were cleared of danger and helped with restoration work because many of the locals are elderly.
One of them expressed how grateful she is for the soldiers in these difficult times.
"The soldiers came and cleaned up for us. They are like God to me. I was happier to see them than my own parents. I just keep on crying."
Nationwide, more than 7,500 have been evacuated.
Tough days are ahead restoring everything, but people are still cheerful and they're getting on with it.
Back to you, Conn-young.
Our Kim Doyeon reporting live from one of the temporary shelters for the displaced in Cherwon near the inter-Korean border. Thanks, Doyeon. Great reporting there.