Typhoon leaves thousands of South Korean homes powerless

Typhoon Lingling’s winds of up to 140 kilometers per hour whipped up high waves in the southern port city of Busan on September 7, 2019. (Yonhap/AFP)
Updated 07 September 2019

Typhoon leaves thousands of South Korean homes powerless

  • Strong winds and rain from Typhoon Lingling caused power outages in some 17,000 homes on the southern resort island of Jeju
  • South Korea’s weather agency has warned of flooding, landslides and structure damage

SEOUL: Typhoon winds toppled trees, grounded planes and left thousands of South Korean homes without electricity on Saturday as a powerful storm system brushed up against the Korean Peninsula.
Strong winds and rain from Typhoon Lingling caused power outages in some 17,000 homes on the southern resort island of Jeju and in southern mainland regions, South Korea’s Ministry of the Interior and Safety said.
The typhoon was 184 kilometers southwest of the southern mainland city of Gunsan on Saturday morning, moving north at 45 kilometers per hour with winds of up to 140 kilometers per hour, the Korea Meteorological Association said.
It is expected to affect a broader part of the country as it passes off South Korea’s west coast later on Saturday before making landfall in North Korea in the evening.
The storm toppled trees and streetlamps and damaged traffic signs in Jeju overnight, caused airports to cancel 89 flights and forced 38 people to evacuate from their flooded homes in a city near Seoul. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
National parks were closed as were southern ports on the mainland and major cross-sea bridges. South Korea’s weather agency has warned of flooding, landslides and structure damage caused by strong rain and winds expected nationwide until early Sunday.
North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said leader Kim Jong Un “urgently convened” an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss disaster prevention efforts and scolded government officials who he described as “helpless against the typhoon, unaware of its seriousness and seized with easygoing sentiment.”
Kim called for his military to drive national efforts to minimize damage from the typhoon, which he said would be an “enormous struggle” that would require the entire country to step up, KCNA said.


Seoul expands search for official killed by North Korean troops

Updated 10 min 12 sec ago

Seoul expands search for official killed by North Korean troops

  • Officials in Seoul are calling on North Korea to agree to a joint probe into the incident
  • The North had not responded to the call for a joint investigation
SEOUL: South Korea on Monday expanded the search for a missing fisheries official killed by North Korean troops at sea last week, a day after North Korea accused the South of raising tension by intruding into its territorial waters.
South Korea’s military has accused North Korean soldiers of killing the man, dousing his body in fuel and setting it on fire near the sea border, apparently in an effort to prevent the risk of a novel coronavirus outbreak.
Officials in Seoul are calling on North Korea to agree to a joint investigation into the incident, which prompted an apology from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who said the killing should not have happened.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said on Monday that military hotlines with North Korea should be restored to prevent unexpected incidents. North Korea severed the inter-Korean hotlines this year as relations soured.
Moon called Kim’s apology “unprecedented, very rare and special” and a sign that North Korea did not want relations to worsen. He added that communication must resume to prevent future problems.
As of Monday, the North had not responded to the call for a joint investigation. On Sunday, its state media issued a statement complaining that South Korea’s naval operations had entered its territorial waters in the area, off the west coast of the peninsula, threatening to raise tensions.
“We have never crossed the Northern Limit Line to the North’s side, but there has been differences in how the two Koreas mark the waters,” South Korea Coast Guard Lt. Lee Hong-chear said, referring to a disputed maritime demarcation that dates to the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War.
At least six aircraft and 45 vessels were participating in the search, including 36 ships from the coast guard and navy, and nine boats from the fisheries ministry and private owners, Lee said.
North Korea said on Sunday it was conducting its own search for the man’s body, and said it was considering ways to hand it over to the South if found.