Typhoon Haishen threatens Korea after hitting Japan


SEOUL / TOKYO (Reuters) – South Korea crouched down when Typhoon Haishen hit the shores of its southern peninsula on Monday, after the powerful storm hit islands in southern Japan, but appeared to pass without damage nor injured major.

High waves triggered by Typhoon Haishen crash against the coast in Kagoshima, Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan on September 6, 2020, in this photo taken by Kyodo. Mandatory Credit Kyodo / via REUTERS

The storm, carrying upward sustained winds of up to 126 km (78 miles) per hour, was heading north from a southern town of Ulsan after touching down on a nearby coast on Monday morning, the South Korean Meteorological Agency said.

High winds have already cut power to nearly 5,000 homes in the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula, including the resort island of Jeju, which has reported more than 473 mm (19 inches) of precipitation since Saturday.

Officials have evacuated nearly 1,000 people, while more than 300 flights at 10 airports, including Jeju International Airport, have been canceled. Entrances to national parks and some national rail services have been suspended, the country’s security ministry added.

In Japan, about 440,000 households in the southwestern Kyushu region were left without power Monday morning after the storm hit, state broadcaster NHK reported. He added that 32 people were injured, including a woman who fell down a staircase in the dark and four people who suffered cuts after glass windows at an evacuation center were blown out.

Nearly 2 million people were ordered to evacuate the area, which was still recovering from heavy rains and flooding in July that killed 83 people.

Typhoon Haishen comes just days after Typhoon Maysak crashed into the Korean Peninsula, leaving at least two dead and thousands without power.

North Korea, which took the brunt of Maysak and Typhoon Bavi a week earlier, is also on Haishen’s path, with the storm expected to approach the port city of Chongjin on Monday evening.

Live footage on state television, a rarity that has now aired for three weeks, showed trees shaking and waves rising in Tongchon County in the southern bordering Gangwon Province. The public broadcaster reported that all Tongchon residents had been evacuated.

North Korea’s agricultural sector is particularly vulnerable to inclement weather, and storms and floods this summer have raised concerns about the country’s precarious food situation.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited the coastal areas affected by Maysak on Saturday and ordered party members to join the recovery effort.

Reporting by Sangmi Cha in Seoul and Sakura Murakami in Tokyo; Edited by Jane Wardell

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