The most powerful typhoon to hit South Korea in years battered its southern region on Tuesday, dumping a meter (3 feet) of rain, as well as destroying roads and downing power lines, left 66,000 people without power while thousands of people fled to safer areas.
Typhoon Hinnamnor brushed past the tourist island of Jeju and hit the mainland near the port city of Busan before reaching the sea between the Korean Peninsula and the island of Japan with winds of up to 133 kilometers (82 miles) per hour. It was heading northeast on a route that would take it into eastern China this week.
The system’s winds weakened to 115 kilometers (71 miles) per hour and it was expected to weaken to a tropical cyclone overnight as it traveled northeast between Russia and the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, according to the South Korean weather agency. meteorology.
The most serious damage was in the southern city of Pohang.where one person was found dead and nine others were missing after the storm swamped buildings and roads, triggered landslides and flooded a shopping mall.
There were storm-damaged cars, with windows blown out or trunks open, littered the streets like bits of trash. Troops were deployed to assist with the rescue and recovery efforts, driving armored vehicles through streets turned into chocolate-colored rivers.
The meteor came just weeks after the capital Seoul and surrounding regions received heavy downpours that triggered flash flooding and killed 14 people.
The storm unloaded more than 105 centimeters (41 in) of water since Sunday in the central Jeju region, where winds reached 155 kilometers (96 miles) per hour. The southern and eastern regions of the mainland also suffered downpours and saw traffic signs and roofs toppled, as well as trees and power poles.
A woman in her 70s has died in the southern city of Pohang after being swept away by flash floods, and another woman in her 80s has died in nearby Gyeongju after a landslide buried her home. Among the nine missing in Pohang were eight who were trapped in a flooded underground parking lot. A 25-year-old man who fell into a swollen stream in the southern city of Ulsan was still missing, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Security.
Also in Pohang, firefighters put out a fire that damaged at least three buildings at a large steel plant operated by POSCO. A presidential official who spoke on condition of anonymity during a news conference said authorities were investigating the cause of the fire.
The Security Ministry said that 500 of the more than 3,400 people who were forced to evacuate their homes had returned home by Tuesday afternoon. Nearly 80 buildings were flooded or destroyed, and dozens of roads, bridges and facilities were damaged.
More than 600 schools across the country were closed or moved to online classes. More than 250 flights and 70 ferry services were idled and more than 66,000 fishing boats dropped anchor in ports. As of 6 a.m., workers had managed to restore power to 30,006 of the 66,341 homes that suffered blackouts.
TYPHOON IN JAPAN
Across Japan, more than 100 flights were canceled and train services were suspended due to strong winds and heavy rain as Typhoon Hinnamnor hit the city of Fukuoka in southwestern Japan early Tuesday (June 6). September).
At least 124 flights were canceled as of 05:00 am local time (20:00 GMT on September 5). Bullet trains running between Hakata and Kumamoto stations have been suspended, according to public broadcaster NHK.
The typhoon is expected to dump more rain on the Kyushu and Shikoku regions as it moves north, but it will weaken to an extratropical cyclone by Tuesday night, according to weather officials.
Authorities continue to warn local residents to be on the lookout for strong winds, high waves and landslides.
(With information from AP and Reuters)
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