See More on Facebook

Current affairs

Firefighters battle Gangwon mountain fires

Fire agency issues highest level alert after 2 people die.


Written by

Updated: April 5, 2019

Fire trucks from different regions of South Korea are being deployed to Gangwon Province following a series of mountain fires that struck the area, authorities said Thursday.

The National Fire Agency said it has ordered all headquarters of major regions, including Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and North Chungcheong Province, to send fire trucks to the border town of Goseong, around 210 kilometers northeast of Seoul.

According to the Gangwon Fire Headquarters, fire broke out on a roadside in Goseong at around 7:17 p.m. and spread to a nearby mountain, leading to the evacuation of residents and guests of a nearby condominium.

The fire agency said it has issued the highest level alert — level three — as of 9:44 p.m. The first level indicates a fire is only affecting a limited area, while the second step is issued for a fire covering more than one city or province.

The top level is issued for accidents affecting the entire nation, reflecting the seriousness of the situation.

“It is extremely rare for fire trucks to be dispatched on a nationwide scale,” an official from the agency said.

Firefighters struggled to extinguish the fire in the early stages, but the authority said they failed to do so due to the strong wind.

The authority initially sent 23 fire trucks and 78 personnel under the stage-two alert. As of 8:31, 40 fire trucks from other areas were ordered to join the extinguish effort, with more support expected to arrive from across the country.

With the fire also affecting nearby areas, some of residents in Sokcho, south of Goseong, were also asked to evacuate.

Firefighters said they are still making efforts to put out the fire.

Gangwon Province is struggling to fight another fire in the mountainous county of Inje, 165 km northeast of Seoul, which broke out at around 2:45 p.m.

As of 7:00 p.m., firefighters said they were only able to extinguish roughly 10 percent of the area.

Firefighting efforts are being delayed by the pullout of helicopters after sunset, the authority said, with strong wind also making the mission more complicated.

No casualties from the fire were immediately reported.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Current affairs

Bangladesh told to stay alert for terror attacks

The warning comes after a wave of deadly bombings in Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in parliament yesterday asked people to be alert and inform law enforcement agencies about any suspected terror and militant activities without delay. Her call comes days after blasts swept through posh hotels and churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, leaving 359 dead and around 500 injured. “I have no words to condemn such terror and militant attacks,” she said before the question-answer session in the House. “I would like to urge the people of the country to remain alert and inform the law enforcement agencies promptly if there is any abnormal activity.” Hasina said Islam is a religion of peace but some people humiliate the religion before the world by carrying out militant activities in its name. The prime minister said some 40 children, including Zayan Chowdhury, a grandson of


By Daily Star
April 25, 2019

Current affairs

In any other country, govt. would have resigned

Saman Indrajith argues that the Sri Lankan government should have resigned. The entire government would have resigned if a disaster like the Easter Sunday carnage had happened in any other country, but such things would never happen in Sri Lanka, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka told Parliament, yesterday. Participating in the debate on gazette declaring a state of emergency, Field Marshal Fonseka severely criticised both the government and the Opposition for allowing the deterioration of intelligence services. He said that soon after the end of the war in 2009, he had proposed to build a national intelligence agency combining all intelligence units and divisions and to make it the best in South Asia. But no such thing had happened. Instead, the intelligence operatives had been used to stalk and surveillance of political enemies and their children, the former Army Commander said. Fonseka said: “


By The Island
April 25, 2019

Current affairs

Easter carnage could have been averted Cardinal tells army chief

Cardinal says he could’ve acted on advance warning to prevent deadly attacks. Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith yesterday told Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake that he would have had definitely called off Easter Sunday morning mass countrywide had he been informed of intelligence warning as regards possible attacks. Cardinal Ranjith sought a clarification as to whether the Church had been deliberately deprived of timely information when Lt. Gen. Senanayake met him at the Bishop’s House, Borella in the morning. A visibly disappointed Catholic leader asserted that Easter Sunday tragedy could have been averted. The Island had the opportunity to be present at the Bishop’s House meeting where Cardinal Ranjith strongly emphasized the responsibility on the part of the government to caution the public regarding possible threats. The meeting took place immediately after the


By The Island
April 24, 2019

Current affairs

Earthquake kills 8 in Philippines

The earthquake struck the central island of Luzon Monday afternoon. Rescuers dug into rubble to reach people trapped in a supermarket that collapsed in Porac town, Pampanga province, after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake shook Luzon on Monday afternoon. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that it was verifying reports that five people were killed in the earthquake. Three bodies were reportedly pulled out of the collapsed supermarket, but the NDRRMC said that report was “for validation.” Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda reported that eight people died, including an elderly woman and her grandchild who were killed when part of a wall beside their house fell on them in Barangay Santa Cruz, Lubao town, as the earth shook. The powerful earthquake struck at 5:11 p.m. rocking Luzon, including Metropolitan Manila, and sending thousands of people fleeing high-rise


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
April 23, 2019

Current affairs

Asian press freedom under threat

Some common themes and little optimism as press freedom takes a back seat in Asia. The media advocacy group, Reporters without Borders—also known by its international name Reporters Sans Frontières, or RSF—released its 2019 World Press Freedom Index on Thursday. The report tells a bleak story of the future of news ecosystems around the world, and warns of increasing danger for the men and women who have made reporting the news their jobs. The index’s assessment of Asia-Pacific’s press freedom describes an atmosphere of increasing cyber harassment, physical danger and intimidation for reporters—factors that unsurprisingly have led to growing levels self-censorship across the region. A look at a the state of press freedom in a few countries around the region reveals some recurring patterns: Legal systems have been increasingly wielded as weapons by governments to silence media outlets and indiv


By Quinn Libson
April 21, 2019

Current affairs

UPDATE: Over 200 dead in coordinated Sri Lanka attacks

The attacks seem to target Christian churches and popular luxury hotels. At least 200 people are dead and hundreds injured in coordinated bomb attacks across Sri Lanka. The attacks seem to target Christian churches on their Easter Sunday services as well as major hotels in the capital, Colombo. Authorities said that some of the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers. According to the Statesman newspaper, the churches that were attacked include St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade in Colombo, the St. Sebastian’s Church in Katuwapitiya in Katana and a third in Batticaloa. Sri Lankan press say that the military has been called in to guard the churches and the hotels. The government has also called for a nighttime curfew and blocked access to social media on a temporary basis. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena called for calm in a statement issued by his office. Finance


By Cod Satrusayang
April 21, 2019