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Two-year-old believed to be among three Kiwis dead in South Korea landslide - 'We're all devastated'

The Kiwi community in South Korea is grieving after three New Zealanders are believed to have been killed in a landslide in torrential weather.

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Malcolm Luke, who knew one of the victims, told 1 NEWS it’s a sad day for the tight-knit community. Source: 1 NEWS

Flash flooding is believed to have destroyed the accommodation in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province, around two hours from Seoul.

Malcolm Luke, originally from Rotorua who currently lives in Seoul, says the community of Kiwis in South Korea is tight-knit and mourning.

"They're New Zealand citizens and prominent members of our community, so we're all pretty devastated," he told 1 NEWS tonight.

"We're a tight-knit unit over here and it has a profound impact when you lose people like that.

"As in many situations where something is as abrupt and tragic as this, it's a sad day."

One of the women who died was "a young woman with her life ahead of her", Mr Luke says, and well known to many members of the community. A young child is also believed to have died.

"It's been a difficult day."

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Three New Zealanders believed dead after landslide in South Korea destroys tourist lodging

He says he received a phone call from another member of the community last night (local time), telling them about the three deaths.

New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says the New Zealand Embassy in Seoul is responding to reports of the death of three people in the landslide.

A South Korean Ministry of Interior and Safety official told Associated Press a 77-year-old woman, her 36-year-old daughter and her two-year-old son died when a landslide crushed their holiday cottage.

The older woman lived in and operated the holiday home complex, the official said, while her daughter had moved from New Zealand with her young son recently to help.