A powerful typhoon damaged buildings, flooded roads and knocked out power to thousands of homes in South Korea today after battering islands in southern Japan and injuring dozens of people.
The Korea Meteorological Administration said typhoon Haishen was passing waters off the eastern coastal city of Sokcho today after barrelling through South Korea’s southern and eastern regions.
The typhoon was weakening, with its maximum winds measured at 108 kilometres per hour after blowing at 144 kilometres in the morning, and it was forecast to be downgraded to a tropical storm within 12 hours.
Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency said at least 38 people were injured, five of them seriously, after Haishen lashed southwestern Japan over the weekend with strong winds and rain. Schools and departmental stores were closed in Hiroshima and other cities in the country’s southwest.
In South Korea, cars struggled to navigate flooded roads in Ulsan and other coastal cities such as Busan, Sokcho and Gangneung. Emergency workers scrambled to clean up toppled trees and damaged traffic signs, buildings, and other structures.
Hundreds of flights in and out of the southern island province of Jeju and across the mainland were cancelled.
Some bridges and railroad sections were shut down, thousands of fishing boats and other vessels were moved to safety, and more than 1,600 residents in the southern mainland regions were evacuated due to the possibility of landslides and other concerns.
The storm by late today was expected to reach North Korea’s northeastern region, which was battered by Typhoon Maysak last week, inflicting further pain on an economy ravaged by US-led sanctions, border closures from the coronavirus pandemic and chronic food shortages.