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Extent of damage from wildfire coming to light Updated: 2019-04-08 19:01:41 KST


The extent of the damage from last week's wildfire in Gangwon-do Province is slowly coming to light.
The fire, which started Thursday night in Goseong county and lasted three days, burned down an area the size of about 742 soccer fields, killing one person and destroying 478 houses.
As of Monday morning, 335 houses in Goseong, 71 in Gangneung, and 60 in Sokcho were destroyed,… resulting in more than 800 people having to stay in one of the 19 provisional shelters prepared for them.

As well as people losing their homes, 434 pieces of farm machinery were destroyed and 41-thousand farm animals were killed in the fire.

Now the recovery efforts have started.
Most communications transmitters and internet lines have been restored.
And cash donations to public organizations to help the victims of the disaster totaled more than 6.2 million U.S. dollars as of Sunday.

Government support will also be provided to the affected areas, after Goseong and Inje counties, and the cities of Sokcho, Gangneung and Donghae were designated as special disaster zones over the weekend.
The designation comes as the size of the disaster is too big for local districts to handle on their own.
People in the affected areas will receive compensation for property damage and loss of life, financial support for medical treatment, loans and tax and utility postponements.
Part of money to restore homes will be supported as well.

However, there are concerns that this won't be enough.
Even those people whose homes need completely rebuilding will only get 11-thousand U.S. dollars per household from the government.
They could apply for a loan of about 50-thousand dollars, but as most of the affected residents are elderly, it's unlikely that they will be able to pay off the debt.

While the total financial loss from the fire has not yet been tallied, Gangwon-do Province governor Choi Moon-soon said an estimated 61-million dollars will be needed to restore all the houses.
And he has asked the government to provide 70-percent of it.
Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.
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