The KAIST Emergency Response Committee has raised a total of 411,768 KRW for the victims of the massive forest fire that wreaked havoc on five cities and counties in Gangwon Province on April 4. The fundraising commenced from May 3 to May 16, and all collected funds, along with faculty funds, were directed to the General Affairs Office for sending to the Hope Bridge — Korea Disaster Relief Association.
The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters claimed that the fire started in Goseong and spread to neighboring regions due to strong winds. City of Sokcho was particularly heavily affected. Firefighters received a call at 7:17 p.m. reporting a transformer on a roadside that exploded, and nearly 80 firefighters were dispatched to extinguish the growing flames. The fire took the life of a 60-year-old man, left more than 30 people injured, and forced around 4,000 residents and tourists to flee their residences for evacuation. A total of around 550 hectares of forest land were burned down according to the Korea Forestry Service, and more than 140 houses, warehouses, and buildings were destroyed.
South Korean President Moon Jae-In declared a state of national disaster on April 5 and ordered affected regions to be declared “special disaster areas”, meaning that residents may receive medical, financial, or administrative government support.