South Korea just got nailed with some heavy rain that has triggered landslides in and flooding in and near its large capital city, Seoul. 32 have been confirmed dead so far. (Whatever you do, don’t consider that is has anything to do with climate change, even though this is exactly the sort of catastrophe climate scientists have predicted will become more and more common.)
Adding to the tragedy, 10 of the people killed this morning were college students doing volunteer work in Chuncheon, about 68 miles north-east of Seoul. “They were staying in a resort cabin when the mud and debris engulfed them,” the UK’s Guardian reports. “Also killed were a married couple and a convenience store owner.”
Aside from the tragic human loss, buildings have been crushed and roads flooded. Here’s more from Guardian:
In southern Seoul, six people were killed when a wave of mud crashed through residential areas at the foot of a mountain, said Lee Sun-myeong, a city official. The dead were not yet identified. One child was missing.
About 15 inches of rain fell in Seoul in just 17 hours, starting Tuesday afternoon. More than 10 inches fell on Chuncheon over the last two days, and weather officials said another 10 inches could yet fall in northern South Korea, including Seoul, before the weekend.
More precipitation, more extreme downpours, more human loss (& financial loss) — this is the tragedy of unmitigated climate change. Of course, we can’t link any specific weather event to climate change, scientifically, but this is exactly what climate scientists have been warning us about.
In Seoul, from this current catastrophe, 800 homes have been flooded and 23 roads have been closed.
Image via US Army Korea – IMCOM (note: it is from a separate flooding event)