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Heavy Rainfall Hits Seoul and Gyeonggi Province on First Day of Chuseok Holiday Updated: 2010-09-21 00:00:00 KST

A sudden downpour hit much of the capital Seoul and its surrounding regions on this first day of Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving holiday.
And amid the ongoing exodus of families traveling to their hometowns, drivers of some estimated 390-thousand vehicles leaving the capital area have been advised to take caution on slippery roads.
The hardest hit areas in western Seoul and the nearby city of Incheon saw up to 80-milimeters of rainfall per hour, accompanied by thunder and lightning. During the day a heavy rain warning was issued for Seoul, Incheon and Bucheon City in Gyeonggi Province.
In the southern and northern parts of the province, a heavy rain advisory was posted.
As for the day's accumulation, much of Gyeonggi Province recorded precipitation far exceeding 100-milimeters, with double that amount in western Seoul.
Dozens of swamped roads were blocked in both Seoul and Incheon, where some 400 residential and commercial buildings were reported to have been flooded.
While the Korea Meteorological Administration forecasts as much as 100 additional millimeters in the respective regions until late Tuesday, the rain will likely begin to subside by early Wednesday. The forecast is then calling for a combination drop in mercury levels and heavy winds.
For those trying to make a prompt, yet safe homecoming, the congestion on most of the roads throughout the country will not likely improve until midnight on Wednesday.
Officials estimate a travel time of six and a half hours from Seoul to Busan, five and a half hours from Seoul to Gwangju and slightly more than three and a half from Seoul to Gangneung.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.
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