October 3, 2022
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Seoul to ban Parasite-type basement homes after storm deaths

AFTER at the very least 4 folks drowned in basement homes through the worst storm to lash Seoul in additional than a century, South Korea’s capital metropolis is planning to part out such dwellings that got here to symbolize yawning inequality within the Oscar-winning movie “Parasite.”

Seoul is contemplating banning building of underground and semi-underground homes after coordination with the federal government, in accordance to an announcement Wednesday. Landlords might be given 10 to 20 years to take away such constructions often known as banjiha, homes from current buildings. As of 2020, about 5% or 200,000 homes within the metropolis have been basement or half-basement flats, in accordance to the Seoul Metropolitan Authorities.

The announcement got here after the worst rainstorm in 115 years dumped 525 millimeters (20.7 inches) of rain in elements of Seoul earlier this week and killed at the very least 11 folks.

Amongst them have been three members of the family — a lady in her 40s, her sister and the sibling’s teenage daughter — who have been discovered useless after being trapped in a submerged semi-basement house in Sillim-dong, not removed from the prosperous Gangnam space. One other lady in her 50s who lived in an analogous residence additionally drowned, in accordance to Dong-A Ilbo newspaper.

The central characters of Parasite, the Korean-language movie that received the Oscar for greatest image in 2020, are portrayed as these residing in such basement homes, struggling to make ends meet, largely out of sight and ignored by the rich.

Inequality in South Korea, Asia’s fourth-biggest economic system, has worsened in recent times, particularly after the coronavirus pandemic. The earnings hole between the highest 20-percent of households and the bottom-most group has widened since 2019, a report launched by Shinhan Financial institution confirmed in April. — Bloomberg

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