Torrential rain sweeps across South Korea, leaving one dead and blackouts in some areas

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Torrential rain, accompanied by lightning and thunder, battered the central regions of the country on Sunday (July 23), with some roads closed, trains halted and at least one person dead.

Seoul, Incheon and some cities in Gyeonggi Province were the hardest hit, with more than 100mm of rain pouring down till Sunday afternoon, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA).

In Incheon, a 96-year-old man was found floating in the basement of his house marooned by floodwater on Sunday morning. He was immediately taken to the hospital, but died.

There were about 20 reports of houses flooded, according to fire departments.

On Sunday, the KMA issued a heavy rain warning in the country's northern Gyeonggi Province - around Paju and Goyang specifically - at 8.20am and Seoul and Incheon at 9.20am.

At 9.45am, six cities and counties, including Anyang and Suwon in Gyeonggi Province, were added to the list.

As of 11am, the heavy rain warning had been issued in a total 13 cities.

A heavy rain warning is issued when a region receives more than 110mm of rain in six hours or if more than 180mm of rain is expected in the next 12 hours.

A part of Cheonggye Stream in central Seoul and Jeungsan Bridge in north-western Seoul were shut down, police said. Traffic was also restricted in parts of Gaehwa-dong, Incheon, and of riverside road Jayuro near Goyang, Gyeonggi Province.

Heavy rains accompanied by thunder and lightning led to blackouts in some areas of Gyeonggi Province surrounding Seoul.

According to Korea Railroad Corp, the state-run railway operator, trains connecting Bupyeong Station and Incheon Station were halted in both directions at 9.30am due to an electrical malfunction after a lightning hit the tracks.

Train operations between the stations were resumed after 27 minutes.

Seven workers at a subway station in Incheon, west of Seoul, were rescued after they had been marooned when a construction site was flooded by the heavy rain.

The Ministry of Public Safety and Security sent a warning text message for Koreans to refrain from outdoor activities and residents in areas at risk of flooding and landslides to evacuate.