Heavy downpours submerged the capital’s streets and buildings, killing at least nine people. It is the worst storm to hit Seoul in nearly a century.

Torrential rains on Monday and Tuesday have slammed Seoul and neighbouring provinces, killing at least nine people and damaging about 3,000 homes and private facilities. 

Some areas experienced power outages, while several roads and some subway stations have also been submerged leaving people stranded, though local authorities said subway service would be resumed on Wednesday. Rescuers are still looking for seven missing people, while at least 17 have suffered injuries. 

Experts described it as the worst storm South Korea’s capital has suffered since 1942. According to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), as of Wednesday morning, the accumulated rainfall in Seoul since midnight Monday stood at 525mm.

While heavy rainfall often hits Seoul in the summer months, “such sharp increase in precipitation and frequent torrential rains cannot be explained without the big trend of climate change,” a KMA official told Reuters. “This phenomenon is seen occurring more often due to climate change that has resulted in a prolonged summer.”

More rain is expected on Wednesday, especially in Chungcheong Province. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol – who visited a semi-basement apartment where three family members lost their lives on Monday night – is expected to preside over a meeting to discuss damage and disaster management on Wednesday morning.

South Korea’s storm marks yet another announced disaster in a summer that has so far brought destruction and extreme weather conditions across the world, with unprecedented heatwaves, wildfires, and deadly floods killing thousands and displacing millions.

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