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South Korea Rains Kill Two

September 16, 2000

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ Torrential rains and strong wind spawned by Tropical Storm Saomai battered much of South Korea Saturday, killing two people and submerging rice paddies and homes.

Suh Sang-jo, 63, was found dead in a rain-triggered mudslide that engulfed his house near the southern town of Kosung, police said. Another man was killed when he was hit by a signboard loosened by strong wind in nearby Chinhae City.

Two children were missing after they were swept away in rain-swollen streams in North Kyongsang Province of central Seoul.

High waves slammed the 40,000-ton Indonesian freighter Bintang Biru onto a rock and the ship was broken in half in waters off the southeast port of Pusan. All 29 of the ship’s crewmen were rescued.

In Pusan, 1,000 households suffered power outages when a tree falling in the gale winds cut the main power line.

Over 6,400 acres of rice paddies have been inundated in the southeast region over the past four days with up to 15 inches of rain.

The anti-disaster office also reported that hundreds of houses and dozens of roads were submerged in flood water or destroyed by landslides, forcing villagers to evacuate.

The tropical storm headed out to the Sea of Japan later Saturday, where its force was expected to further weaken, weather officials said.

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