Back-to-back typhoons leave S. Korea’s southeastern regions in tatters

Roads flanking the southwestern coast of South Korea in Jindo County in South Jeolla Province was destroyed by Typhoon Lingling, Saturday, that approached earlier the day. Courtesy of Jindo County Government Office. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SEOUL, Sep 7, 2020, Yonhap. Typhoon Haishen escaped off the Korean Peninsula on Monday afternoon, ripping through the country’s southern and eastern regions that had been reeling from the previous tropical storm, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The season’s 10th typhoon pummeled South Korea with violent winds and heavy rainfall of up to 70 millimeters per hour, just days after Typhoon Maysak triggered flash floods and landslides and damaged buildings, bridges and glass windows in high-rise apartments.

Thousands of residents in low-lying areas took shelter, while flights, train services and passenger and fishing ships were all grounded. Tens of thousands temporarily lost power, and at least one person was reported missing after being swept away in flood waters.

In Gyeongju, two turbine generators at the Wolsong Nuclear Power Plant stopped operation due to power outage.
The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters said Haishen temporarily disrupted power supply to 37,644 houses nationwide. It also destroyed 48 structures around the country, and the tally was expected to go up, as the agency was in the middle of assessing the damage.

A man in his 40s was reported missing at around 11:23 a.m. in Samcheok, Gangwon Province. He was believed to have been swept away in a flooded waterway.

Five residents and a couple in their 70s were rescued by firefighters in Yangyang and Samcheok, both in Gangwon Province, respectively.

In Goseong, also in Gangwon Province, residents were ordered to evacuate their homes for fear of floods.

In Ulsan where Haishen made landfall earlier in the day, the typhoon temporarily knocked out power at the assembly lines of Hyundai Motors, South Korea’s biggest carmaker by sales, which produces such models as the Genesis G90 and G80. Similar power outages were also reported at a factory of Hyundai Mobis Co., the country’s biggest auto parts maker.

In Busan, the typhoon cut off power, toppled trees and snapped a traffic light in its path.

A 57-year-old man in the city was rescued by firefighters early in the morning after an elevator stopped working due to a power outage. A water tank was blown off the top of a house in the western part of the city. No casualties were reported. Another man in his 60s was rescued from his house hit by a landslide. Rescuers took a driver out of his truck to safety, after his vehicle was knocked out by powerful winds on Gwangan Bridge that connects the city’s Haeundae and Suyeong wards. Yet another man was seriously injured after being hit hard by a sign that was blown away.

An 18-unit apartment in Dong Ward became inundated again after experiencing floods during the July rainy season.

The typhoon unleashed torrential rains and triggered a landslide near a tunnel on the road connecting the city with Changwon. Also, dozens of riverside and oceanfront roads have been closed as a safety measure against flooding.

In Yangsan, north of Busan, a road remained closed to traffic after rainwater flowed knee-high over it.

“It is highly likely that the typhoon will weaken as it passes by the country due to the southern sea’s relatively cool temperature of less than 27 C, coupled with cool air in the upper atmosphere and strong wind,” a KMA official said, forecasting it to be downgraded to an extratropical cyclone within a few hours.

A typhoon alert was lifted for the southern resort island of Jeju, Gyeongsang Province, and parts of Gangwon and the central provinces.

On Monday afternoon, trains running between Busan and nearby cities began their services, and flights slowly resumed operation as the typhoon moved off the Korean Peninsula. In the morning, 298 flights were grounded nationwide, according to Korea Airports Corp.

Typhoon Haishen was forecast to continue to march northward until it arrives at Chongjin, North Korea, at midnight. It is expected to dissipate there.

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