The lower level of Banpo Bridge is submerged in a Han Fiver flood. (Jayde Kim)
As heavy rains this month caused water levels of the Han River to rise drastically, many parks located along the river banks in Seoul are still partially submerged.
On August 13, after being closed for a week, Yeouido and Nanji Han River parks reopened at 9:00 and the Jamsil, Yanghwa, and Ttukseom parks started accepting visitors from 14:00. Jamwon park in southern Seoul reopened to the public at 13:00 the day before.
However, five other parks in Seoul – Gwangnaru, Ichon, Banpo, Mangwon, and Gangseo – remain closed to visitors and vehicles due to safety concerns.
The Seoul city government is expected to restrict access to the parks until inspection and cleanup is completed. Information about the Han River park opening and control status can be found online or by calling 02-3780-0758.
A flood alert was issued for areas near a major bridge on the Han River last Thursday for the first time in nine years. Highways in Seoul are partly closed.
The Jamsu Bridge has been off limits since August 2. Gaehwayukgapmun at the southern end of Banghwa Bridge, Dangsan Railway Bridge in both directions from the southern end of Dangsan underground road, and both sides of the Yangpyeong Interchange near the southern end of Seongsan Bridge are also under control, as of August 12.
Restrictions on the Olympic Highway Yeoui Upstream and Yeoui Downstream outings were lifted at 9:00 August 12. North Riverside Gangbyeon Highway, from the Hangang Bridge to the Mapo Bridge, also has reopened, allowing for traffic in both directions, as well as all sections of the Dongbu Highway and the Inner-City Naebu Beltway.
Seven cities and counties in central South Korea – Anseong of Gyeonggi Province; Cheorwon of Gangwon Province; Chungju, Jecheon and Eumseong of North Chungcheong Province; and Cheonan and Asan of South Chungcheong Province – were declared special disaster zones. Suffering heavy damage from torrential rains, those regional governments are eligible for state support in their disaster recovery efforts.
The government plans to conduct further inspections to designate other areas in need of relief as special disaster zones.
What’s the status of the Han River parks near you? Share your updates in the comments below!