South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol (fourth from left) looks around a flood-damaged area in Yecheon, South Korea, July 17, 2023. (PHOTO / YONHAP VIA AP)
SEOUL - South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Tuesday called for an overhaul of the country's disaster response system after days of torrential rain killed dozens of people in the country.
Climate change is causing extreme natural disasters ... We cannot respond to this unprecedented abnormal weather the way we have been doing until now.
Yoon Suk Yeol, South Korean President
More than 40 people have lost their lives in less than a week of heavy rains - including 14 who died when floodwater trapped them in an underpass in the city of Cheongju - casting doubt on the country's efforts to prepare for more regular and intense downpours.
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"Climate change is causing extreme natural disasters," Yoon told a Cabinet meeting televised live. "We cannot respond to this unprecedented abnormal weather the way we have been doing until now," Yoon said.
He urged officials to mobilize all available resources for restoration work, calling the current situation an "emergency".