RoK declares national disaster over massive blaze in coastal region

Friday, 2019-04-05 15:48:03
 Font Size:     |        Print
 

Hundreds of firetrucks were mobilized from across the country, with around 10,000 personnel, gathered for the firefighting and rescue operations.
 Font Size:     |  

The Republic of Korea (RoK) government on Thursday (April 4) declared a state of national disaster over the massive blaze that engulfed five cities and counties along the northeastern coast, leaving one dead and 11 wounded.

The fire broke out at about 7:17 p.m. Thursday (1017 GMT) on a roadside in Goseong, a northeastern border town some 210 km northeast of the capital Seoul, according to local media reports citing firefighting authorities.

Affected by strong wind, the flame rapidly spread to nearby mountainous regions including the Inje county and the cities of Sokcho, Donghae and Gangneung in Gangwon province.

As of 7:30 a.m. on April 5 (2230 GMT Thursday), one has been confirmed dead and at least 11 injured.

About 250 hectares of forest were gutted by the fire, and some 125 houses destroyed. Thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate overnight.

RoK President Moon Jae-in chaired a meeting of the national crisis management center overnight, ordering the use of all available resources to put out the blaze, but firefighters had difficulty due to the strong wind and the darkness.

At daybreak, tens of helicopters were dispatched to extinguish the fire. The main blaze was reportedly put out early in the morning.

Hundreds of firetrucks were mobilized from across the country, with around 10,000 personnel, including firefighters, civil servants, the military and police, gathered from across the nation for the firefighting and rescue operations.

Xinhua