“Itaewon used to be a place for Christmas parties, with lots of decorations on the street, but it has become very silent and sombre,” local resident Lee Jun-hee told Reuters from the alleys.
Another resident, Kim Kyeong-nyeon, 65, said some businesses in Itaewon were trying to brighten the Christmas mood, but it felt too soon to her.
“People are still grieving. We might need more time,” she said.
A manager of a local hamburger joint said his business still suffered from the disaster, as did other restaurants and bars nearby.
“Now we have very few customers coming, and the streets are silent,” he said, asking not to be named. “It’s not Christmas yet, but I guess Christmas won’t be so different.”