PyeongChang, South Korea (July 26) — Recovery efforts are moving at full speed in PyeongChang and the surrounding Gangwon Province, where torrential rains pounded the region for five straight days ending July 18th. The storms dumped 500 millimeters of rain in areas, leading to flash floods and landslides. PyeongChang was drenched in up to 550 millimeters of rain.

President Roh Moo-hyun issued special orders during a weekly Cabinet meeting, directing ministers to provide maximum financial and logistical support for recovery efforts in PyeongChang including 2014 Olympic facilities. He also added “Mutual cooperation between related ministries is required to ensure perfect recovery of all Olympic facilities, in preparation for the IOC evaluation.”

PyeongChang is one of 18 specially designated areas nationwide where storm-affected residents will be eligible for special tax benefits and other subsidies to rebuild private property, as well as food, medical assistance and other necessities. Military troops have been directed to the region to aid in the recovery, with additional manpower support coming from local and provincial agencies, volunteer organizations and neighbors.

Jin-sun KIM, governor of Gangwon Province and executive president of the PyeongChang 2014 bid committee, said that since there was little damage related with PyeongChang 2014 Olympic facilities, PyeongChang would not face any difficulty in 2014 Olympic bid efforts. Governor Kim said, “We faced typhoons in 2002 and again in 2003, and each time we recovered. This time, we have national support in terms of budget, equipment and manpower and the strong hands of organizations and volunteer groups. At this time, with their support, we have just completed emergency recovery.” Gov. Kim added that the public’s enthusiasm for hosting the 2014 Olympics would add further impetus to carrying out a swift reconstruction.

The storm was part of a seasonal monsoon front that affects Korea each summer. The storm damaged or destroyed housing and other infrastructure, flooded farmland, and washed out roads. A total of 25 people in Gangwon Province including 10 in PyeongChang reported dead due to this torrential.

Amid the recovery, PyeongChang bid officials said they are continuing to prepare the Bid Book, which will be submitted to the IOC by January 2007, and will be prepared for an IOC evaluation team visit early next year. The Olympic body will vote on the 2014 Host City in July 2007 at its general session in Guatemala City.

PyeongChang 2014 bid Chairman Han Seung Soo thanked President Roh and Prime Minister Han for visiting the storm-ravaged region and for the support that will make a full recovery for affected families, communities and the PyeongChang 2014 Winter Olympic bid possible.