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.


Militants attack in Indian Kashmir as it locks down for anniversary

Updated 05 August 2020

Militants attack in Indian Kashmir as it locks down for anniversary

  • Authorities blanketed Kashmir with troops, who laid out barbed wire and set up road blacks to prevent demonstrations
  • Kashmir is claimed in full by India and Pakistan, which have gone to war twice over it

SRINAGAR, India: Militants attacked Indian security forces with a grenade and gunfire in Kashmir on Wednesday, defying a strict security lockdown on the first anniversary of the government’s scrapping of the disputed Himalayan region’s autonomy.
There were no immediate reports of casualties, police said.
Authorities blanketed Kashmir with troops, who laid out barbed wire and set up road blacks to prevent demonstrations a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government stripped India’s only Muslim-majority state of its special rights.
The government said the change was necessary to develop the strife-torn region and integrate it with the rest of India but it infuriated many Kashmiris and neighboring Pakistan.
Some critics saw it as part of a pattern by the Hindu-nationalist government aimed at sidelining Muslims. The government denies that.
Kashmir is claimed in full by India and Pakistan, which have gone to war twice over it, and both rule parts of it. Militants have been fighting Indian rule in its part of Kashmir since 1989 in a conflict that has killed at least 50,000 dead, according to official figures.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was due to travel to the Pakistani-controlled part of Kashmir to mark the anniversary later on Wednesday.
He reiterated a long-standing Pakistani appeal for international intervention to help resolve the dispute over Kashmir between the nuclear-armed neighbors that has bedevilled their ties since the end of British colonial rule in 1947.
“It is imperative that the international community steps in immediately and backs its words of condemnation with practical steps that will force India to reverse its present course against the Kashmiri people,” he said in a statement.
India has ruled out any outside mediation over Kashmir.
In Srinagar, a handful of members of Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gathered at their headquarters to unfurl an Indian flag to mark the occasion. The party had long campaigned for ending Kashmir’s special status.
Party spokesman Altaf Thakur said similar celebrations took place in all district headquarters in the territory. “It is an important and historic day for our party,” Thakur told Reuters.
Elsewhere in Srinagar, police and paramilitary troops enforced the strictest lockdown for several months, stopping public movements, including a proposed meeting of politicians.
“One year later the authorities are still too afraid to allow us to meet, much less carry out any normal political activity. This fear speaks volumes about the true situation on the ground in Kashmir,” former chief minister Omar Abdullah said on Twitter.
Last August’s change in status in Indian Kashmir was accompanied by a communication blackout, widespread restrictions and mass detentions, including of elected leaders.
Most of those measures have been eased, although Internet speeds are still restricted. More recently, many families have been confined indoors because of coronavirus lockdowns. (Additional reporting by Sheree Sardar in ISLAMABAD; Writing by Devjyot Ghoshal Editing by Sanjeev Miglani, Robert Birsel)