NATIONAL

[Photo News] Goseong fire destroys 125 homes, forces 2,250 to evacuate

By Lim Jeong-yeo
  • Published : Apr 5, 2019 - 11:05
  • Updated : Apr 5, 2019 - 15:21

A record-scale fire broke out in the eastern coastal region of Gangwon Province on Thursday evening, affecting Goseong, Sokcho, Gangneung, Donghae and Inje.

The main conflagration was extinguished by Friday morning, but flames were reportedly still blazing in limited areas as of 10:30 a.m.


(Yonhap)
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The fire reportedly started from a power switch in Goseong operated by the Korea Electric Power Corporation. Gusts of wind blowing at 30 meters per second quickly carried the sparks through the dry air.

Fire trucks from across the nation were dispatched to tackle the flames in a fire disaster classed as level three, the most serious kind.

The National Fire Agency estimated that the fire had destroyed some 250 hectares of forest and 125 homes as of 7:30 a.m. Friday morning. Highway rest stations near Goseong reportedly also burned down. 


(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)
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(Yonhap)
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Cheong Wa Dae ordered emergency evacuations of local residents. More than 2,250 people from Goseong and 1,500 from Sokcho took shelter at nearby public facilities and school auditoriums.

The evacuees included military members in the region, which is close to the inter-Korean border.

Should the fire spread north of the border, the South Korean government will cooperate with North Korea to put out the fire, the Blue House said.

Telecommunication in the Gangwon area is unstable at the moment. Network companies said they are doing their best to control the situation.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (kaylalim@heraldcorp.com)