Aug 9, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Record rainfall and flooding kills at least 9 in Seoul

People clean up debris at a traditional market damaged by flood after torrential rain on August 09, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea
People clean up debris at a traditional market on Aug. 9 in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Flooding in Seoul, South Korea, overnight killed at least nine people, including two sisters in their 40s and a 13-year-old girl, the New York Times reports.

Driving the news: It was some of the heaviest rainfall seen in decades and weather officials estimate that nearly 17 inches of rain fell in southern Seoul between Monday and early Tuesday.

  • At least nine other people were injured in the flooding and seven were reported missing, CNN reports.
  • Seoul recorded 5.57 inches of rain per hour, which is the highest rate on record, per CNN.
  • Numerous subway stations were closed due to the flooding, wreaking havoc on Seoul's Monday evening rush hour, and about 800 residents were evacuated to schools and gyms.

What they're saying: South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol wrote on Facebook that he "ordered the related government agencies to evacuate people from dangerous areas to avoid human casualties."

Our thought bubble, via from Axios' Andrew Freedman: This summer has brought deadly extreme rainfall events to the U.S., China and other parts of the globe.

  • As the climate warms in response to the burning of fossil fuels for energy, extreme precipitation events are becoming more common and intense.
  • Warmer air holds more water vapor, which storms can wring out of the sky as heavy rainfall.
  • Computer models show more heavy rain is likely in the Korean Peninsula throughout the rest of the week, potentially causing additional significant flooding.

What to watch: More heavy rain was expected Wednesday in Seoul, per the Korea Meteorological Administration.

Go deeper... Earth sees a top 3 hottest July, marked by deadly heat, flash floods

Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct the name of the Korea Meteorological Administration.

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