Cars drive through the highway in Seo District, Gwangju, July 8. Yonhap

Heavy rain pounded parts of the country’s central regions Monday, leaving a resident in the central county of Okcheon missing after a landslide and briefly stranding villagers in the southeastern city of Andong.

In Yeongyang county in North Gyeongsang Province, 55.5 mm of rainfall hit the region in an hour from 3 a.m., and 52.5 mm of downpours per hour had been recorded as of 3:30 a.m. in nearby Andong, 192 kilometers southeast of Seoul, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA).

Emergency texts warning of the heavy downpours were sent to residents in nearby regions early Monday, the first time such warnings sent outside of the capital area.

As of 10 a.m., 197 people from 129 households had evacuated in the Gyeongsang Provinces.

Heavy overnight rain stranded 25 residents of rural villages in Andong, and a nearby county early Monday morning. All of them were safely rescued by emergency rescuers or evacuated on their own.

Firefighting authorities expect the number of those stranded or fleeing for safety could increase, as many roads in northern parts of North Gyeongsang Province were off-limits due to flooding.

A resident in his 50s from Okcheon, 149 kilometers south of Seoul, went missing Monday morning while inspecting his home amid a landslide 한국을 affecting his backyard, according to firefighters. Rescuers were having difficulties combing through the backyard in search of the missing person due to flooded soil.

In South Chungcheong Province, 78 residents living in areas vulnerable to landslides or collapsing of retaining walls were evacuated to safety.

Two drivers, in their 70s and 40s, were rescued by firefighters in the central city of Daejeon after their vehicles became waterlogged and they could not get out.

The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters, the country’s disaster control tower, activated the first stage of its three-stage response posture, while the heavy rain alert was raised to “caution,” the second-highest level in the four-level system, according to the interior ministry.