Ten people have died and thousands have been displaced after Typhoon Hinnamnor hit southern South Korea on Tuesday.
Typhoon Hinnamnor made landfall around 4:50 a.m. local time at the southeastern industrial cities of Pohang, Gyeongju and Ulsan with heavy rain and wind speeds equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane, causing major road floods and landslides. It is marked as the strongest cyclonic storm to hit South Korea so far this year, leaving 10 people dead and two missing.
Seven of the reported deaths came from a flooded underground car park at a residential complex in Pohang. The victims were trapped by the rising waters when they attempted to move their vehicles.
Rescuers entered the submerged basement on Tuesday night and were able to retrieve two people, a man in his 30s and a woman in her 50s, who reportedly clung onto ceiling pipes for more than 12 hours.
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“Rescuers are carrying out an operation to drain the parking garage to search for any remaining victims, but it is highly unlikely additional survivors will be discovered,” South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.
A woman in her 70s also died after being swept away by floodwaters in Pohang on Tuesday.
Another person was killed after being buried in a house that was hit by a landslide in Gyeongju. The death of another individual was also confirmed in Pohang on Wednesday, according to authorities.
The typhoon has destroyed about 12,000 houses and buildings and forced more than 4,700 people to evacuate their homes. Nearly 90,000 households have lost power nationwide.
Search and rescue operations continue in the affected areas, according to authorities. Although the typhoon warnings have been lifted, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has urged residents to stay alert and take precautions.
South Korea, along with other East Asian countries, has been enduring extreme rains and record temperatures over the past few months.
Last month, the country was hit with a historic rainfall that caused severe flooding and led to the deaths of at least 14 people.