Round 500 folks had 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 accordance with fireplace officers.
The fireplace broke out round 6:28 a.m. within the fourth district of the village, stated Shin Yong-ho, an official with the Gangnam Fireplace Station, in a televised briefing. First responders arrived round 5 minutes later, he stated.
It was extinguished round 11:50 a.m. native time and broken an space of two,700 sq. meters.
No deaths or accidents have been reported to date.
Round 60 properties are believed to have burned down, Shin stated, including most buildings are constructed from vinyl plywood panels.
Movies on social media present the hearth engulfing what seems to be like rows of properties, with large plumes of thick black smoke hanging above the slum as sirens wail close by.
Greater than 800 response personnel have been mobilized, together with firefighters, police and governmental employees, whereas 10 helicopters have been deployed to help with the response, Shin stated.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, who’s in Switzerland attending the World Financial Discussion board, has been notified of the hearth and has ordered authorities to mobilize “all obtainable personnel and gear,” in accordance with the presidential workplace.
Yoon additionally requested native governments to evacuate residents and make sure the security of rescue employees, his workplace stated.
Authorities have lengthy warned that Guryong residents are at specific danger of disasters, with the Gangnam authorities saying on its web site that the slum was “weak to fires” in 2019.
It was additionally hit laborious by flooding final August, when file rainfall killed a minimum of 13 folks in Seoul – together with some residents trapped within the dingy “banjiha” basement properties 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’s a part of the rich, glittering Gangnam district, made well-known by Psy’s 2012 track “Gangnam Model” and generally known as the Beverly Hills of Seoul.
Gangnam’s high-rise house buildings lie lower than a kilometer from the shacks of Guryong, the place many residents dwell in cramped makeshift housing constructed from supplies like wooden and corrugated iron.
Although plans to redevelop the world stretch again a minimum of a decade, quite a few proposals have faltered on account of disagreements between native governing our bodies and negotiations over land compensation.
These efforts are ongoing, with 406 households – greater than a 3rd of the slum’s inhabitants – relocated as of 2019, in accordance with the Gangnam authorities web site. Greater than 1,000 residents are nonetheless residing there, Gangnam officers confirmed on Friday.
The district shared extra redevelopment plans final Could, with a neighborhood official saying the land could be become “an eco-friendly luxurious residential advanced.”
Authorities are working to assist relocate about 1,500 households residing in shacks throughout three main slums, together with Guryong, into public housing as an alternative, the Seoul authorities stated in a information launch final November.
It added that town goals to ultimately “eradicate irregular residences akin to shacks and vinyl homes.”