Round 500 folks have been evacuated from their houses on Friday after a fireplace broke out in Guryong Village, one of many final remaining slums in South Korea’s capital Seoul, based on hearth officers.

The fireplace broke out round 6:28 a.m. within the fourth district of the village, stated Shin Yong-ho, an official with the Gangnam Hearth Station, in a televised briefing. First responders arrived round 5 minutes later, he stated.

No deaths or accidents have been reported to this point.

Round 60 houses are believed to have burned down, Shin stated, including most buildings are comprised of vinyl plywood panels.

Firefighters and rescue workers at the site of a fire at Guryong village in Seoul, South Korea, on January 20.

Movies on social media present the hearth engulfing what appears to be like like rows of houses, with large plumes of thick black smoke hanging above the slum as sirens wail close by.

Greater than 800 response personnel have been mobilized, together with firefighters, police and governmental staff, whereas 10 helicopters have been deployed to help with the response, Shin stated.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, who’s in Switzerland attending the World Financial Discussion board, has been notified of the hearth and has ordered authorities to mobilize “all obtainable personnel and tools,” based on the presidential workplace.

Yoon additionally requested native governments to evacuate residents and make sure the security of rescue staff, his workplace stated.

Authorities have lengthy warned that Guryong residents are at specific danger of disasters, with the Gangnam authorities saying on its web site that the slum was “susceptible to fires” in 2019.

It was additionally hit arduous by flooding final August, when report rainfall killed at the very least 13 folks in Seoul – together with some residents trapped within the dingy “banjiha” basement houses depicted within the film “Parasite.”

High-rise residential buildings in Gangnam tower over Guryong village in Seoul, South Korea, on November 24, 2020.

The Guryong slum has lengthy been seen as an emblem of the hole between wealthy and poor in South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest financial system. It’s a part of the rich, glittering Gangnam district, made well-known by Psy’s 2012 tune “Gangnam Model” and typically referred to as the Beverly Hills of Seoul.

Gangnam’s high-rise residence buildings lie lower than a kilometer from the shacks of Guryong, the place many residents dwell in cramped makeshift housing constructed from supplies like wooden and corrugated iron.

Although plans to redevelop the world stretch again at the very least a decade, quite a few proposals have faltered on account of disagreements between native governing our bodies and negotiations over land compensation.

These efforts are ongoing, with 406 households – greater than a 3rd of the slum’s inhabitants – relocated as of 2019, based on the Gangnam authorities web site. Greater than 1,000 residents are nonetheless residing there, Gangnam officers confirmed on Friday.

The district shared extra redevelopment plans final Could, with a neighborhood official saying the land can be became “an eco-friendly luxurious residential advanced.”

Authorities are working to assist relocate about 1,500 households residing in shacks throughout three main slums, together with Guryong, into public housing as an alternative, the Seoul authorities stated in a information launch final November.

It added that town goals to ultimately “get rid of irregular residences akin to shacks and vinyl homes.”

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