The Ministry of National Defense is running a disaster control support team to help contain a wildfire spreading across the country’s east coast that left one dead and at least 11 injured, officials said Friday.
The ministry got the team up and running at 9 p.m. on Thursday as the inferno engulfed the northeastern border town of Goseong, around 210 kilometers northeast of Seoul, ravaging many homes and buildings, and sending thousands of residents fleeing.
It has provided 32 choppers, 26 military fire engines and 16,500 troops to help put out the fire. It also plans to offer 6,800 Meals Ready to Eat.
The ministry said that as of Friday morning, there had been no reports of military casualties at border Army units.
“Until now, there isn’t any damage of military personnel, though we have found that the fire has impacted some military equipment and ammunition at a unit close to where the wildfire started,” the ministry said in a text message sent to reporters.
“We are currently trying to ascertain the exact extent of the damage,” it added.
Early in the morning, Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo ordered the military to do everything it can to support national efforts to contain the fire and ensure the safety of military personnel posted near the scene of the fire.
The Army, Navy and Air Force vowed efforts to contain the fire and support the victims and displaced.
The Army sent 20 choppers and 3,500 soldiers to the scene to help extinguish the fire and restore the affected areas, while the Air Force sent four helicopters and nine fire trucks and put four transport aircraft on standby.
The Navy put on standby two amphibious landing ships and its 1,100-strong rapid maneuver unit, which includes Marine Corps personnel. (Yonhap)