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South Korea to Ban Basement Apartments Similar to those in 'Parasite' Film

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By Simran Arora
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The Ministry stated that the new legislation will be implemented gradually.

The local government is now moving forward with proposals to outlaw the dangerous housing of Parasite Notoriety" after terrible floods swept across Seoul last summer, during which a family perished when stranded in a basement flat.

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August of last year had the wettest rainfall in Seoul in 80 years. Because of how severe the flooding was, there were multiple power disruptions in places like Gangnam and Incheon.

Pictures of their experiences were shared online by Seoul residents, depicting swamped automobiles, flooded businesses, metro stations, and residences. Regrettably, the flooding was so bad that 2,800 structures were destroyed, 163 people were left without a place to live, and 14 people died.

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Several Korean internet users expressed their condolences online, but one specific tale drew attention from all around the world. Two sisters in their 40s and a 13-year-old daughter were discovered dead in their flooded semi-basement flat, according to the BBC. Many people are now familiar with the flats, or banjiha, because to Bong Joon Ho's Oscar-winning film Parasite.

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The main character's family banjiha was entirely flooded and destroyed during a rainfall in the movie's depiction of a comparable catastrophe. Regrettably, this way of life actually exists. 348,000 families in Seoul were residing in similar flats as of the previous year.

Seoul officials quickly responded to the outcry from domestic and international netizens, promising to change the construction codes and outlaw underground homes.

The vulnerable are at risk from subterranean and semi-underground habitation in numerous ways…

via Yonhap, Seoul Mayor Oh Se Hoon

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Finally, the modification is now being implemented. In response to climate change, new legislation are suggested in a study issued last Wednesday by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport.

According to the Korea JoongAng Daily, the blueprints even made reference to the flooding sequence from the movie Parasite.

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The government intends to alter the new building legislation shortly, and if they do, they will remove the restriction on the development of subterranean flats. The only exceptions will be in unique circumstances when structures are constructed on slopes or at minimal danger of flooding.

After widespread complaints that some families were forced to live in the risky-yet-affordable banhija, the Ministry also said that they planned to implement the new legislation gradually, taking into account the limited options available to low-income households.

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What about the current subterranean flats, though? The city of Seoul also has a strategy for them. The study states that the government would purchase these areas and transform them into community amenities when the units are vacated and the occupants have been relocated to safer accommodation.

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