Typhoon Khanun made landfall in South Korea’s southern city of Geoje early Thursday, bringing lashing winds and torrential rain on its way north toward the nation’s capital.
(Bloomberg) — Typhoon Khanun made landfall in South Korea’s southern city of Geoje early Thursday, bringing lashing winds and torrential rain on its way north toward the nation’s capital.
The storm is expected to hit Seoul, home to about half the country’s population, by late Thursday. It’s packing maximum sustained winds of 104 kilometers (65 miles) per hour, weakening to 86 kph by the time it reaches the capital. The storm is forecast to dump as much as 300 millimeters (12 inches) of rain per hour in some parts of the country, including major cities Busan and Daegu, the Korea Meteorological Administration said.
The administration has issued typhoon warnings to the entire country. The storm is forecast to travel toward North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, by early Friday. The weather bureau said it has never seen a storm that cuts through the interior and crosses into North Korea.
“With the storm moving slowly northward, the impact will last longer, unleashing lots of rain and wind,” Park Jung Min, a forecaster at the administration, told reporters.
More than 440 flights were canceled at major airports in South Korea on Wednesday, while 82 flights have been dropped as of 1 p.m. local time Thursday, according to the FlightAware.com tracking service. Korea Railroad Corp. suspended some train service in southern and eastern coastal areas on Thursday, it said in a statement.
The country’s major companies, including Korea Electric Power Corp. and Posco Holdings Inc., said they are taking precautions for the storm’s arrival. Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., the state-run operator of the nation’s reactors, said it has inspected its facilities and deployed staff to respond to the typhoon.
South Korea has been facing extreme weather in recent months, from flooding to scorching heat. Khanun comes less than a year after the country was battered by Super Typhoon Hinnamnor, which killed more than 10 people and disrupted both power supplies and major industries.
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