Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's not raining, it's flooding

We have had more than a year's worth of rainfall in the past month. Half of it seems to have fallen in the past two days, and more is falling today. When the guerilla rains started most thought it would last for about a day but it has been storming nonstop, complete with thunder and lightning.

The first day I cancelled my evening appointment and hurried home to avoid the pelting rain. The next day I was on the highways of outskirt Seoul, while the city fell deeper and deeper into water. Worst rain in 100 years, they're saying.

The Sadang area where I was waiting for the bus in the video clip turned into this the very next day:

Subway stations are flooding, cars are underwater.

Landslides are happening, causing many casualties. This is in Daejeon; it's not only Seoul, the whole nation is under a storm cloud.

The extent of the damages are staggering. This photo says it all:

Flood warnings are still effective nationwide as I write. The National Emergency Management Agency has safety guidelines on their site for emergencies like this (English version) :

Among all the guidelines, I'd like to emphasize: "Avoid going near street lights, traffic signal lights, and power lines."  And even if it means going a long way 'round, try not to wade in water even if the water is shallow. You never know where an electric current may be.

All the major TV channels are broadcasting special weather reports all day. Be sure to tune in and be safe.

Photos from Yonhap News:

Monday, July 4, 2011

Urban poetry

Seoul Metro has poetry printed on most of the safety doors on the platforms. Some poems are good, some are puzzling, some are thought provoking. This one spoke to me that day. I wish I could translate it to exactly convey the feeling, but poetry really doesn't translate well unless in the hands of a brilliant writer.

"Empty Thoughts" by Jung Wijin
Upon the swift steed called time
I furiously ran

sometimes hastening to go faster
with whipping of my hand

Oh no
have I sped too much
before my eyes appears the divided path.