In 2022, torrential rains in the central district killed 14 people alone. Subway and roads were flooded, causing huge damage. They caused flood damage estimated at least 65.8 billion won in property losses alone. Termed the ‘all-time torrential rain,’ this event marked the central district’s first encounter with such intensity in 115 years, triggering numerous calls for comprehensive policy reform.
However, concerns over torrential rain have continued until now. Torrential downpours striking Chungcheong-do, and Gyeongsang-do caused more damage than the previous year. 50 people were killed and reported missing in the wake of these overwhelming rains.
Torrential rains flooded underground roads, causing significant casualties. The primary reason is that local governments did not control traffic in a timely manner before the accident occurred. Moreover, local and national governments’ lack of clear solutions for unexpected accidents has further increased confusion.
Why does the damage from torrential rain worsen every year? Experts have cited abnormal climate as the primary cause. In addition, it has been analyzed that a high-pressure system blocking the natural atmospheric flow could be another contributing factor. This means that a massive high-pressure system remains in place for an extended period, obstructing the movement of the atmosphere.
Another reason is that preparatory measures for torrential rain are not properly established. Typically, investigations and measures are only set in motion once the damage has already transpired, resulting in delayed responses and solutions.
The environmental damage caused by torrential rain is also deeply concerning. This year, torrential rains have propelled marine debris into the ocean, adversely impacting residents. In Seocheon, Chungcheongnam-do, damage estimates have soared beyond 5 billion won.
Eight organizations, including the Mokpo Regional Office of Oceans and Fisheries, set up a joint control group to dispose of more than 200 tons of marine waste for two days but failed to complete it. Therefore, everyone’s efforts are needed to prevent damage caused by such torrential rain. Both national and local governments must engage in proactive measures, ranging from examining drainage facilities to preemptive control of hazard-prone zones. In addition, individuals should not approach dangerous areas such as rivers or maintenance openings.