An additional 21 cities and counties were
declared special disaster areas on Thursday (Aug. 10) after they were severely
ravaged by Typhoon Ewiniar and heavy rains late last month.
The total number of special disaster areas in South Korea increased to 39. Eighteen cities and counties were designated as special disaster zones on July 18 in the wake of heavy flooding.
The newly declared areas include Anseong in Gyeonggi Province; Gangeung, Yeongwol, Hwacheon, and Cheorwon in Gangwon Province; and Jecheon, Danyang, Jincheon, Eumseong and Goesan in North Chungcheong Province.
The areas also include Yeosu and Goheung in South Jeolla Province; Seongju in North Gyeongsang Province; Sacheon, Gimhae, Miryang, Yangsan, Haman, Changnyeong and Geochang in South Gyeongsang Province.
Among the first 18 disaster areas are PyeongChang and Inje in Gangwon Province.
Lee Yong-sup, head of the National Disaster Prevention and Countermeasures Headquarters, said financial aid from the central government is available for the designated disaster areas and will cover up to 80 percent of expenditures for reconstruction.
Lee is concurrently serving as minister of government administration and home affairs.
Ravaged by the typhoon and flooding, a total of 994 households were destroyed with 2,141 people left without homes. Their property damages were estimated at 2.06 trillion won.
Lee said he will preside over a meeting on Aug. 14 to finalize recovery plans to help disaster victims' lives get back to normal.
He promised to set up a task force to rebuild damaged facilities for winter sports in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, which is bidding for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Lee stressed that the central government and local authorities will have to complete the rebuilding work for the sports facilities before February next year, when the evaluation committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) conducts on-site checks.
On June 22, the IOC executive board in Lausanne accepted Pyeongchang, the Russian city of Sochi, and the Austrian city of Salzburg as candidate cities to host the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014.