Round 500 folks have been evacuated from their properties on Friday after a hearth broke out in Guryong village, one of many final remaining slums in South Korea’s capital Seoul, in response to firefighters.
The hearth broke out round 6:28 a.m. within the fourth ward of the village, Shin Yong-ho, an official with the Gangnam Hearth Station, mentioned in a televised briefing. First responders arrived about 5 minutes later, he mentioned.
No deaths or accidents have been reported to this point.
Round 60 homes are believed to have burned down, Shin mentioned, including that a lot of the buildings are made from vinyl plywood panels.
Movies on social media present the fireplace showing to engulf rows of homes, with big plumes of thick black smoke hanging over the slum whereas sirens wail close by.
Greater than 800 emergency personnel have been mobilized, together with firefighters, police and authorities officers, whereas 10 helicopters have been deployed to assist with the response, Shin mentioned.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, who’s attending the World Financial Discussion board in Switzerland, was briefed on the fireplace and has ordered authorities to mobilize “all obtainable personnel and tools,” in response to the presidential workplace.
Yoon additionally urged native governments to evacuate residents and make sure the security of rescue staff, his workplace mentioned.
Authorities have lengthy warned that Guryong residents are at specific threat of catastrophe, with Gangnam’s authorities saying on its web site that the slum was “susceptible to fires” in 2019.
It was additionally hit exhausting by flooding final August when there was file rainfall killed at the very least 13 folks in Seoul — together with some residents trapped within the dingy “Banjiha” basement homes depicted within the film “Parasite.”
The Guryong slum has lengthy been seen as a logo of the hole between wealthy and poor in South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economic system. It is a part of the prosperous, glitzy Gangnam neighborhood, made well-known by Psy’s 2012 track “Gangnam Model,” and generally dubbed the Beverly Hills of Seoul.
Gangnam’s high-rise residence buildings are lower than a kilometer from Guryong’s barracks, the place many residents reside in cramped makeshift shelters made from supplies akin to wooden and corrugated iron.
Though plans to redevelop the world date again at the very least a decade, quite a few proposals have stalled because of disagreements between native authorities businesses and land compensation negotiations.
That effort is underway, with 406 households – greater than a 3rd of the slum’s inhabitants – having been relocated by 2019, the authorities mentioned Gangnam Authorities web site. It introduced additional restructuring plans final Could an area official He mentioned the land could be reworked into “an eco-friendly luxurious residential advanced”.