Seven people died and six are missing after record rainfall flooded Seoul and surroundings on Monday, inundating roads as cars plowed through inches of water.Southern Seoul saw 100 to 300 mm of rainfall, paralyzing traffic and submerging particularly in Gangnam, Guro and Seocho districts.Seoul's Dongjak district was drenched in 380 mm of rain or more than 90 mm an hour, the highest daily precipitation since August 1920 as well as the largest hourly precipitation since 1942.
The heavy rains were concentrated in the evening rush hour and wreaked havoc with traffic.People were wading through thigh-high water to cross the street while others were stuck in office buildings. Some commuters gave up and looked for places to stay the night.
On some public buses water levels reached passengers' ankles. As thousands of vehicles were submerged, some drivers abandoned their cars in the middle of the road, while several subway stations like Isu and Dongjak in Seoul were closed because of severe flooding.
Thunderstorms also affected Incheon, Gyeonggi Province and parts of Gangwon Province earlier in the day, inundating roads and buildings.The rains were the result of a hot and humid air mass from the south colliding with a cold and dry air mass from the north over the Korean peninsula, causing a stationary front that brought heavy squalls to certain regions, according to meteorologists.It is rare for Korea to see so much rain in early August since the summer monsoon usually recedes in late July.After halting briefly on Sunday, downpours are expected to continue in the Seoul metropolitan region and Gangwon Province until early next week.