A massive wildfire swept across South Korea on Friday 5 April, leading authorities to declare a rare national disaster and the deployment of 900 fire engines and tens of thousands of personnel to bring it under control. The blaze broke out late Thursday alongside a road in the town of Goseong, in the far northeast of the country and was fanned by strong winds, it quickly spread through neighbouring Sokcho, Gangneung and Donghae cities within hours.
There have been reports of one death and at least 35 taken to hospital. About 400 homes were destroyed according to the government as well as 4200 evacuations.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited the areas in Gangwon province most affected by the blaze, meeting with residents who were forced to leave their homes. Moon and his staff wore yellow jackets, which symbolize situations of national emergency.
The National Fire Agency said more than 870 fire engines and about 10,000 emergency personnel were dispatched to fight the blaze. The military sent 32 helicopters, along with fire engines of its own and 16,500 soldiers, to help.
Reports from the fire front on Sunday 7 April indicate that the fire is being contained.
Image for illustration.