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Footage showing a ‘tidal wave’ of cockroaches sweeping the streets of Seoul has emerged following deadly flooding in South Korea’s capital.
Earlier this month, the country was brought to its knees by a merciless flood — the highest in over 100 years — following two days of consistent rainfall that began on 8 August.
During the monsoon season, it is common to see the citizens of Seoul walking in streets flooded up to their knees, buses ploughing through raging waters, with the famous Han River overflowing and spilling out into nearby shops and homes. However, no one was anticipating the nightmarish phenomenon that locals are dubbing a ‘cockroach tidal wave’.
The chilling footage, shot in Gangham District, shows a wave of roaches attracted by a backlog of sewage spewing from the drains and rising to the streets and has since gone viral.
It was shared on online platform Naver before sweeping YouTube, TikTok and Instagram, leaving viewers horrified.
In the clip, onlookers can be heard screaming “What is that?” as thousands of critters spout out from the sewer drains and manholes and appear to swim across the street (in fact, roaches can’t swim but they are able to float or ‘surf’ and can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes under water).
Cockroaches are abundant in the more densely populated areas of Seoul, but the video has nonetheless given some locals second thoughts about living in a pest-infested neighbourhood.
“Why is the rent so high if I am living with roaches?” one wrote, while another commented: “The amount of cockroaches that live under our homes is legendary.”
More than 500 people were evacuated and over nine people were killed – including three family members trapped in their basement apartment – in the catastrophic floods.
Torrential rain also led to mudslides, rising sewage and contaminated waters. Even the train station’s ceilings began to collapse on themselves, causing the Subway Line 3 to shut down.
Some parts of South Korea saw as much as 5.6in (14.1cm) of rain per hour – the highest rate since records began in 1907 – with the Dongjak District recording 17 inches (43cm) in 24 hours.
The government has responded to the disaster by announcing a ban on ‘Jiha-chung’, or basement floor-living apartments. They’ve announced plans to give homeowners and landlords approximately 10 years to renovate the space and reutilise it for its original purpose as storage.
The government also plans to help lower-income families, who tend to rent out and live in these basement style apartments, assisted-living expenses in order to cover the cost of their move and allow them to live in better-suited living conditions that can prevent casualties like the deaths mentioned above.
Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Unsplash
Topics: News, Korea, Weather