500 evacuated as massive fire breaks out in one of Seoul's last slums

Around 500 people were evacuated from their homes on Friday after a fire broke out in Guryong Village, one of the last remaining slums in South Korea’s capital Seoul, according

to fire officials. The fire broke out around 6:28 a.m. in the fourth district of the village, said Shin Yong-ho, an official with the Gangnam Fire Station, in a televised

briefing. First responders arrived around five minutes later, he said. No deaths or injuries have been reported so far. Around 60 homes are believed to have burned

down, Shin said, adding most structures are made from vinyl plywood panels. Firefighters and rescue workers at the site of a fire at Guryong village in Seoul, South Korea,

on January 20. - Ahn Young-joon/AP Videos on social media show the fire engulfing what looks like rows of homes, with huge plumes of thick black smoke hanging above the

slum as sirens wail nearby. More than 800 response personnel have been mobilized, including firefighters, police and governmental workers, while 10 helicopters have been

deployed to assist with the response, Shin said. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, who is in Switzerland attending the World Economic Forum, has been notified of the

fire and has ordered authorities to mobilize “all available personnel and equipment,” according to the presidential office. Yoon also requested local governments to

evacuate residents and ensure the safety of rescue workers, his office said. One of Seoul’s last slums Authorities have long warned that Guryong residents are at particular

risk of disasters, with the Gangnam government saying on its website that the slum was “vulnerable to fires” in 2019.