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Deadly landslide hits South Korea mountain resort

Yonhap / EPA

Rescue workers at a landslide scene, caused by torrential rains, which destroyed several houses, including a pension, in a mountain resort in Chuncheon on Wednesday.

Yonhap / Reuters

A rescue worker carries a person who was saved from a collapsed house in Chuncheon, northeast of Seoul on Wednesday, July 27, 2011. A landslide has swept four houses and killed at least six people, local media reported.

Yonhap / Reuters

Rescue workers carry a person who was saved from a collapsed house in Chuncheon, northeast of Seoul on Wednesday.

 

From Reuters:

SEOUL — A landslide caused by torrential rain crashed into a South Korean mountain resort east of Seoul early on Wednesday, destroying four buildings, including two small hotels, and killing at least 10 people, officials said.

Wild weather has battered the peninsula since late Tuesday, causing widespread flooding and transport delays, while the share price of insurers fell on fears that damage costs would run into millions of dollars.

At Chuncheon, about 60 miles east of Seoul, rescue workers were still sifting through the muddy rubble of the wrecked hotels, restaurant and coffee shop searching for missing people.

"We were asleep and suddenly I heard a big sound, and then the ceiling fell down," Lee Beon-seok, a student, told local television.

A local resident reported hearing what sounded like train.

"And then I heard someone shouting 'help me'. So I went out to see, and I saw a landslide had swept all over the area," she said.

Officials said about 20 people were injured when the wall of mud crashed into the buildings near the Soyang River Dam just after midnight.

Local media reports said 35 college students and some 40 tourists were staying at the small hotels.

Over the past 24 hours, 16 inches of rain has been dumped on the capital Seoul, causing flash floods, landslides and bridge closures.

A blackout hit the south of the city, suspending train services. Subway stations in Seoul were turned into swimming pools, stranded commuters said.

Emergency workers said at least four people were killed in other accidents related to the severe weather. The weather bureau said more heavy rain was forecast for the next 48 hours.

There was no immediate reports of damage to crops, and flights and shipping were not affected.