WEB DESK:South Korea has declared a national emergency in response to one of the largest wildfires on record.
Thousands of soldiers have been deployed to help firefighters from across South Korea to extinguish the flames in north-eastern mountainous region, close to the border with North Korea.
South Korea declared a national emergency on Friday in response to “one of the largest wildfires on record”, Yonhap news agency reported.
Over 13,000 rescue officials from across the nation battled to contain the fire that started on Thursday evening in a mountainous county of Goseong, 160 km northeast of Seoul, before spreading to neighbouring Sokcho, Gangneung and Donghae cities within hours and destroying several hundred buildings.
It is believed the fire originated from a spark at a transformer near Goseong in Gangwon Province, northeast of Seoul.
One man died in the blaze and 35 others were injured, with at least a few thousands left displaced and damage piling up to what authorities described as “an unprecedented extent”.
President Moon Jae-in urged his government to make all-out efforts to contain the fire and help the victims. He told officials to consider designating the blaze-hit areas as special disaster zones. That would entitle the locations and their residents to speedy, special government support, the agency reported.