Korea Calls for Typhoon-Resistant Measures as Khanun Nears

South Korea’s government urged its industrial sector to be prepared for damages from Typhoon Khanun as the storm approaches the nation’s shores this week.

(Bloomberg) — South Korea’s government urged its industrial sector to be prepared for damages from Typhoon Khanun as the storm approaches the nation’s shores this week. 

The vice minister of industry held a meeting Tuesday with heads of the nation’s 13 industrial complexes, and instructed them to be vigilant in preparing for the typhoon. The storm will bring severe rain and wind as it moves through the country, the Korea Meteorological Administration said in a briefing.

The typhoon, currently sweeping across Japan’s southern islands with winds reaching up to 126 kilometers per hour, is expected to reach waters near Jeju Island early Thursday. The current forecast shows the storm may travel along the western coast, potentially becoming a threat to the nation’s capital, Seoul, by early Friday.

Khanun, a Thai name for a tropical fruit, is also expected to hit North Korea by Friday afternoon, raising the possibility it could wipe out crops and batter farmland in the country that battles chronic food shortages. Still, there’s a high possibility the storm could change track, the weather bureau said.  

South Korea is bracing for Khanun less than a year after Super Typhoon Hinnamnor disrupted production at major companies including Posco Holdings Inc., the country’s top steelmaker. That storm passed through the southeast of the country near Busan in early September.

State-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. said it has inspected facilities to ensure a stable supply of electricity, and Posco said it has completed building a rain-screen wall that extends almost 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) around its Pohang plant. 

South Korea has been battered by extreme weather in recent months, from flooding to scorching heat. In July, a severe downpour left dozens of people dead from flooding and landslides. Last week, the government raised its heat wave warning to the highest level for the first time in four years, with some parts of the nation experiencing temperatures above 38C (100F).

Read More: Scouts to Leave Early From Troubled South Korea Youth Camp

Khanun is currently about 230 kilometers south of Japan’s Kagoshima. 

A spokesperson for Japan Airlines Co. said 132 flights departing and arriving mainly from Kyushu on Tuesday have been canceled, affecting more than 8,000 people. ANA Holdings Inc. said 70 flights departing and arriving from areas including Miyazaki and Kagoshima in Kyushu have been canceled from Tuesday to Thursday, affecting roughly 6,700 customers.

Kyushu Railway Co. said trains may be delayed or suspended, and West Japan Railway Co. said it may halt bullet train operations between Osaka and Kyushu from Wednesday evening to Thursday morning.

–With assistance from Shoko Oda, Tsuyoshi Inajima, Jon Herskovitz and Supriya Singh.

(Updated with the storm’s status and flight details throughout.)

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.