Press Release

Board View

2024 Flood Safety Week: Final Check on Flood Preparedness

▷ Meeting between Ministry of Environment and local governments, flood safety policy symposium, joint training with relevant agencies conducted

The Ministry of Environment (Minister Han Wha-jin) announced that it will designate April 29 to May 3 as Flood Safety Week to finally check the preparedness of related agencies for this year’s flood season.

Flood Safety Week, operated for the first time this year by the Ministry, aims to share and discuss flood response plans among relevant agencies and conduct joint training to ensure effective operation on the ground.

On April 29, the Ministry will hold a meeting with metropolitan governments at the Government Sejong Complex, and on April 30, it will host a flood safety policy symposium at the Sejong Convention Center with flood response experts, relevant agencies, and local government officials. Joint simulated training and workshops will also be held for each watershed area.

① Meeting between Ministry of Environment and local governments (April 29) 

The meeting between the Ministry of Environment and local governments is the second one to be held since the meeting on March 20. This time, chaired by the Minister of Environment, 17 deputy heads of metropolitan governments including Seoul will attend to focus on discussing inter-agency flood response plans and cooperation strategies.

Starting from May this year, the Ministry will expand flood forecasting points from the existing 75 to 223 through the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, providing rapid and detailed flood situation a.lerts. In addition, the Ministry will offer flood risk guidance via navigation to the public, provide information on one’s location and nearby flood-prone areas through mobile phones, and directly notify deputy heads of the local governments, ensuring comprehensive flood information dissemination at the scene. Furthermore, proactive inspections in vulnerable areas such as rivers, dams, and sewage systems will be conducted to enhance preparedness, and on-site flood response operations, including dam pre-release and CCTV monitoring, will be pursued.

During the meeting, the Ministry will explain the key points of its summer flood response plan. It will also review the major initiatives and challenges in flood response by local governments, discussing areas where cooperation between the central government and local governments is necessary. 

② Flood safety policy symposium (April 30)

The flood safety policy symposium will focus on discussing key aspects to emphasize in the flood response process and future improvement measures, involving experts, relevant agencies, and local government officials. First, it will feature expert lectures centered around case studies, including past disaster incidents and lessons learned, as well as flood response utilizing CCTV footage. These sessions aim to facilitate a clear understanding of the situation and roles for flood response personnel.

Continuing, the thematic presentations will cover the following topics: 1) The Ministry of Environment’s 2024 Summer Flood Response Plan, 2) The Ministry of the Interior and Safety’s Natural Disaster Response Measures, 3) The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA)’s Provision of Weather Information and Collaboration Plans, and 4) The Ministry of Environment’s Sewage Management Measures for Urban Flood Prevention. These presentations aim to share the major plans of flood response agencies. Lastly, a comprehensive discussion will take place on the theme of ‘Innovation in Flood Management Utilizing Digital Technology’ with academic and industry experts, delving into in-depth discussions on areas for improvement in flood management.

③ Joint training with relevant agencies (April 25 to May 17) 

Joint training exercises simulating actual flood situations will also be conducted for each watershed area. The Ministry (Headquarters, regional environmental management offices, flood control offices), KMA, local governments, the Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-water), the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd., the Korea Rural Community Corporation, and other relevant agencies will participate to familiarize themselves with the roles of each organization in flood situations.

※ (April 25) Nakdong River Watershed, (May 2) Yeongsan River and Seomjin River Watersheds, Lower Han River Watershed, (May 3) Geum River Watershed, (May 8) Upper Han River Watershed, (May 17) Seomjin River and Dongjin River Watersheds

During the joint training exercises, in alignment with the newly introduced AI flood forecasting system, flood forecasts will be issued. In addition, new information dissemination methods such as the Voice Message System (VMS)* and the Disaster Safety Communication Network** will be utilized to swiftly disseminate information. Furthermore, the inter-agency collaboration system will be strengthened through checks on the response of relevant agencies such as citizen evacuation and emergency measures in accordance with flood forecast issuance.

*Voice Message System (VMS): Automatically converts text messages into voice messages for transmission, with con.firmation of receipt before call termination.

** In the same area, temporarily broadcasts flood situation updates to local governments, fire departments, police, and other flood response agencies.

In particular, on May 2, under the leadership of the Vice Minister of Environment, a field training exercise will be conducted in Gurye-eup, Gurye-gun, Jeollanam-do, in the Yeongsan River and Seomjin River Watersheds, involving the Yeongsanriver Environmental Management Office, Yeongsan River Flood Control Office, Gurye-gun Office, Gurye Police Station, and K-water. The training will simulate flood forecasts and dissemination based on the concentrated heavy rainfall and river conditions experienced in 2020, and will inspect decision-making systems for releasing water from the Seomjin River Dam in the Seomjin River Watershed. In addition, measures such as manual operation of drainage facilities and emergency repairs of embankment breach areas will be checked on-site.

Through this training, the Ministry plans to conduct a final check of the newly evolving flood response system in collaboration with relevant agencies, ensuring smooth operation even in actual flood situations.

④ Joint workshop with relevant agencies (April 25 to May 10) 

Joint workshops for flood response will also be held for each watershed area. Hosted by the regional environmental management offices, the workshops will see participation from flood control offices, K-Water, KMA, and other flood response-related agencies. Each agency will discuss the utilization methods of AI flood forecasting and information dissemination, as well as management of flood-prone areas and provision of risk information.

※ (April 25) Yeongsan River and Seomjin River Watersheds, (May 2) Seomjin River and Dongjin River Watersheds, (May 2) Nakdong River Watershed, (May 7) Lower Han River Watershed, (May 9) Upper Han River Watershed, (May 10) Geum River Watershed

During this workshop, the regional environmental management offices will collaborate with specialized agencies (river associations) to investigate and share the current status and response measures for designated flood-prone areas. They will also check the flood response readiness of each agency. Furthermore, they will discuss measures to enhance cooperation among relevant agencies before the onset of the flood season.

In particular, emphasis will be placed on ensuring that officials fully understand the increased number of flood forecasting points and water level observation stations introduced this year, as well as the newly introduced methods of flood information dissemination. 

Minister Han Wha-jin stated, “Flood Safety Week is aimed at conducting a final check on the flood preparedness posture among flood response agencies before the start of the summer natural disaster preparedness period (May 15 to October 15) and enhancing collaboration.” She added, “We will continue to do our best to prepare for this year’s floods through close cooperation with local governments and other relevant agencies.”

For further information, please contact the Public Relations Division. 

Contact person: Gina Lee, foreign media spokesperson

Phone: +82-44-201-6055

Email: gcjgina