North, South Korea brace for strong typhoon, flights halted - InfoNews

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North, South Korea brace for strong typhoon, flights halted

The root of a roadside tree are seen pulled out by strong winds as the Typhoon Bavi landed on Jeju Island, South Korea, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. Hundreds of flights were canceled in South Korea while North Korea's leader expressed concern about a potential loss of lives and crops as the countries braced for a fast-approaching typhoon forecast as one of the strongest to hit their peninsula this year.(Byun Ji-chul/Yonhap via AP)
August 26, 2020 - 5:21 AM

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - Hundreds of flights were cancelled in South Korea while North Korea’s leader expressed concern about a possible loss of lives and crops as the countries braced for a fast-approaching typhoon forecast as one of the strongest to hit their peninsula this year.

Packing a maximum wind speed of 155 kilometres (96 miles) per hour, Typhoon Bavi was already lashing South Korea’s southern resort island of Jeju on Wednesday afternoon, flooding roads, toppling trees, ripping off signboards and knocking down lampposts as it passed over waters off the island’s western shores. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

South Korea’s weather agency said the typhoon would begin affecting the mainland at night before making landfall in western North Korea early Thursday. The agency warned of possible severe damage caused by very strong winds and heavy rainfall.

In Jeju, strong winds and rain knocked out power to hundreds of homes and damaged buildings, trees, streetlamps, telephone poles, road barriers and signboards, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety said.

More than 480 domestic flights in and out of Jeju and the southern mainland city of Busan were cancelled as of Wednesday evening. South Korean authorities also shut public parks and sea bridges and moved hundreds of fishing boats and other vessels, the ministry said.

In the capital, Seoul, and other cities, health workers dismantled at least 75 makeshift coronavirus testing stations over worries that the tents and booths might not withstand strong winds.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said that during a ruling party meeting on Tuesday, the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, called for thorough preparations to minimize casualties and damage from the typhoon. The storm comes weeks after torrential rains caused flooding and massive damage to homes and crops in North Korea, inflicting further pain to an economy ravaged by pandemic-linked border closures and U.S.-led sanctions over the North’s nuclear program.

KCNA said earlier that a typhoon warning was issued in most areas of the country, with officials moving fishing boats and applying protective measures to buildings, farms and railroads.

In China, authorities suspended ferry services across the Yellow Sea from the northern port of Dalian to the cities of Weihai and Yantai on the Shandong Peninsula as the typhoon closed in on the region. The government of Dalian, a city of 7 million people, urged people to stay indoors as much as possible on Wednesday and Thursday.

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AP researcher Yu Bing in Beijing contributed to this report.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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