Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Typhoon hits South Korea after lashing Japan

Typhoon hits South Korea after lashing Japan

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Traffic lights and trees were felled in and around the country’s southernmost city of Busan, streets were flooded and power was knocked out for around 20,000 homes. YONHAP NEWS AGENCY/AFP

Typhoon hits South Korea after lashing Japan

A powerful typhoon lashed South Korea on Monday after smashing into southern Japan with record winds and heavy rains that left four people missing in a landslide.

Half a million people were without power after Typhoon Haishen – or “Sea God” in Mandarin Chinese – roared past Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, ripping off roofs and dumping half a metre of water in just a day.

Rescue workers were picking through mud and detritus after a hillside collapsed in rural Miyazaki prefecture on the island’s southeastern coast.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo that dozens of police officers were on their way to help.

At least two deaths had been reported during the storm, he said, although the causes were not immediately known.

Coming on the heels of Typhoon Maysak – named after the Khmer word for the teak tree (Tectona grandis), Haishen crashed into Okinawa on Saturday and moved northwards throughout Sunday.

Around 1.8 million people were told to seek shelter for fear that the 200km/h winds would wreak havoc on Japan’s wooden housing stock.

By lunchtime on Monday, the storm had moved over South Korea, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights and triggering landslides.

Traffic lights and trees were felled in and around the country’s southernmost city of Busan, streets were flooded and power was knocked out for around 20,000 homes across the country.

The typhoon cut electricity supplies to Hyundai Motor’s assembly lines in the city of Ulsan, bringing production to a halt for several hours.

Haishen churned its way up the eastern side of the peninsula into the Sea of Japan, known as the East Sea in South Korea, having lost some of its destructive force, but still packed winds of up to 112km/h.

The streets of the port city of Sokcho were largely empty, but some residents braved the rain and wind to take photos and marvel at the swell crashing into the harbour wall.

Outside the city, swollen rivers surged through the countryside carrying debris and the occasional fallen tree.

Haishen was forecast to make landfall again in Chongjin, North Hamgyong province in North Korea, at around midnight, according to South Korea’s Meteorological Administration.

Pyongyang’s state media have been on high alert, carrying live broadcasts of the situation, with one showing a reporter driving through a windy, inundated street in Tongchon county, Kangwon province.

“Now is the time when we must be on our highest alert,” he said, adding that winds were as powerful as 126km/h.

State broadcaster Korean Central Television (KCTV) showed flooded streets and trees shaking from the strong gusts.

North Korea is still reeling from the effects of Typhoon Maysak last week.

Leader Kim Jong-un appeared in state media over the weekend inspecting the damage. He also sacked a top provincial official in South Hamgyong.

He ordered 12,000 ruling party members in Pyongyang to help with recovery efforts, and the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) news agency reported on Monday that around 300,000 had responded to his call.

The North’s state media have yet to specify how many people Maysak left missing, injured or dead.

In Japan, Typhoon Haishen first made its presence felt on a string of exposed, remote southern islands before sweeping past the Kyushu region.

As it approached Kyushu authorities issued evacuation orders for 1.8 million people, with 5.6 million others told to take precautions.

In some places, residents checked into hotels to shelter from the storm.

Japan converts its municipal buildings and schools into shelters during emergencies, but some people were reluctant to gather in large numbers due to fears over the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I am worried about coronavirus infections. We’re with small children too, so we did not want other people to see us as big trouble,” an elderly man in Shibushi city told broadcaster NHK after checking in at a local hotel with seven relatives.

The storm forced the cancellation of nearly 550 flights and disrupted train services, the network said.

Many factories also suspended operations, including three plants operated by Toyota.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports