President Roh Moo-hyun designated all of South Korea except Seoul and Incheon as special disaster areas on Monday in the aftermath of the huge destruction wrought by a powerful typhoon.
The decision, made at the recommendation of the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs, will make tens of thousands of typhoon victims eligible for more government subsidies and compensation.
Typhoon Maemi, the most powerful to hit South Korea in a century, tore through the country Sept 12, leaving at least 117 people dead and 13 others missing. Property damage is estimated at 4.7 trillion won (about $4 billion).
The areas covered by the government action include 156 cities, counties and wards and 1,657 rural villages.
The government will provide additional condolence money and other financial assistance, including expenses to rebuild or repair damaged facilities and homes and to rehabilitate crops.