1 Dead, 1 Missing as Torrential Downpours Drench Seoul

People cross the street in downtown Seoul on Wednesday. /Yonhap

The Seoul metropolitan area was hit by a massive thunderstorm at midday Wednesday that damaged buildings, paralyzed traffic and claimed at least one life.

Rainwater leaked even into the upper basement of the COEX mall in Gangnam, forming puddles on the marble floors.

Near Seolleung Subway Station, flash floods rose to ankle height at one point, and access was temporarily closed to the promenade along the Cheonggye Stream in downtown Seoul.

One 64-year-old man out for a stroll was swept away when the Jeongneung stream in northern Seoul suddenly swelled. He was found dead around two-and-a-half hours later.

And a 42-year-old man was swept away by rapids under a bridge in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province and remained missing as of 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, despite search efforts by some 150 police officers and firefighters.

Thursday started rainy and cloudy in the capital, and the Korea Meteorological Administration forecast that the rain will reach southern regions in the evening.

More than 100 mm of rain is expected in some parts of Seoul, Gyeonggi and Gangwon Province until Friday as warm and humid southwesterly winds will blow in.