Death toll from S. Korean typhoon rises to 18

Death toll from S. Korean typhoon rises to 18
Updated 29 August 2012

Death toll from S. Korean typhoon rises to 18

Death toll from S. Korean typhoon rises to 18

SEOUL: South Korean rescuers yesterday recovered two more bodies near two wrecked Chinese fishing boats, bringing the confirmed death toll from a powerful typhoon to 18.
Typhoon Bolaven — the strongest to hit the South for almost a decade — left a trail of death and damage in southwestern and south—central regions of the country.
It drove two Chinese fishing ships aground early Tuesday off the southern island of Jeju, sparking a dramatic rescue operation.
Coastguards wearing wetsuits struggled through high waves and pulled a total of 12 people to safety, and six swam ashore. Eight bodies had been recovered yesterday and seven were still missing, the coastguard in Jeju said.
Dozens of divers are involved in the ongoing search. The coastguard said in a statement it would make “utmost efforts” to account for all the missing.
Most of the other deaths, confirmed by the public administration ministry, were caused by wind gusts that toppled walls or roofs or blew victims off their feet.
Typhoon alerts covering most of the country were lifted as ferries and flights returned to normal and schools reopened. But South Korea is now on watch for another typhoon, Tembin.
Bolaven moved on to North Korea, damaging crops and toppling some 3,700 roadside trees, the North's official news agency said. Human casualties were not reported.
In North Hwanghae Province, the typhoon deactivated television relay facilities and destroyed or damaged some 20 houses and public buildings, the agency said, adding that “a lot of houses and roads” were submerged in other provinces.
Bolaven crossed the Yalu border river into China early yesterday.
In South Korea, the typhoon was the strongest since 2003 in terms of wind speed. A maximum speed of 214 kilometers per hour (134 miles per hour) was recorded at Mount Mudeung in the southwestern city of Gwangju.
Power cuts of five minutes or longer hit nearly two million homes, a record in the country, the public administration ministry said.
The storm toppled nearly 8,000 trees and damaged 42 ships or boats and 35 houses. A total of 6,418 hectares (15,852 acres) of farmland was damaged.
Typhoon Tembin, located about 350 kilometers northeast of the Taiwanese capital Taipei early yesterday, is approaching South Korea at a speed of 20 kilometers an hour.


Britain tightens borders to keep out new COVID-19 variants

Britain tightens borders to keep out new COVID-19 variants
Updated 15 January 2021

Britain tightens borders to keep out new COVID-19 variants

Britain tightens borders to keep out new COVID-19 variants
  • Johnson is grappling to control a third wave of the virus and prevent the health service from collapse
  • The rule changes come into force at 0400 GMT on Monday

LONDON: Britain is tightening border controls to block new variants of COVID-19, suspending all “travel corridor” arrangements that had meant arrivals from some countries did not require quarantine.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is grappling to control a third wave of the virus and prevent the health service from collapse while also racing to vaccinate millions each week.
“What we don’t want to see is all that hard work undone by the arrival of a new variant that is vaccine-busting,” he told a news conference, explaining the end of travel corridors at least until Feb. 15.
The rule changes come into force at 0400 GMT on Monday and mean all passengers must have a recent negative coronavirus test and transfer immediately into isolation upon arrival.
Isolation lasts for 10 days, unless the passenger tests negative after five.
On Thursday, Britain banned arrivals from South America, Portugal and some other countries over fears about a variant detected in Brazil.
Britain’s current lockdowns ban most international travel meaning that airline schedules are currently minimal, but the withdrawal of any quarantine-free travel will be a further blow for an industry already on its knees.
UK-based airline easyJet said there was no immediate impact from Johnson’s announcement, but in a statement added: “We need to ensure that travel corridors are put back in place when it is safe to do so.”
Britain has already felt the effects of mutations in the virus, after a variant first discovered in England has proved to be more transmissible.
Critics say the government has been too slow to act and previously left borders wide open.
Much of the criticism prior to Friday’s announcement has focused on whether rules requiring arriving passengers to quarantine are actually being enforced, with anecdotal evidence that few checks are made.
“We will be stepping up our enforcement, both at the border and in country,” Johnson said.