Major Floods in an Asian Metropolis

Language Korean
September 15, 2011 7 p.m. local time

© 2005 WikiCommons/Janine Dupree cc by 2.0

Seoul has been the capital of South Korea for more than 600 years. In that time, the city has gone though many rebirths, most recently after the Korean War. In that period of explosive economic growth that began in the 1960s, locals took to calling the city “the miracle on the Han.” The reference pays homage to the Han River, which runs through the center of the city.

Source: 2010 U.S. Army/Sgt. Opal Vaughn

Like many other parts of Asia, Seoul has a monsoon season that runs from June to September. During this time, South Korea typically receives two-thirds of its annual rainfall. When the rain pours, all that water has to go somewhere. A lot of it winds up in the Han River — which swells each year during monsoon season, often overrunning its banks and flooding nearby parks and roadways. That’s a very scary reality for drivers. As the climate warms, scientists tell us we can expect an increase in the frequency and intensity of these heavy rain events in Seoul.


Dong Sik Lee previously was the Chief Investment Officer for Samsung Asset Management, and has now started a new career as an environmentalist. While working in the financial industry, he stressed ethical business practices out of a belief that investors have a moral responsibility to create a better society through their work. He now wants to engage as many companies as possible to help solve the climate crisis. He wants to use education and grassroots activism to spread the word about the threat of climate change and ignite a fresh movement to implement solutions in Korea.