Nine dead as Typhoon Bolaven hits S. Korea

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Updated 29 August 2012

Nine dead as Typhoon Bolaven hits S. Korea

SEOUL, South Korea: A powerful typhoon pounded South Korea with strong winds and heavy rain yesterday, killing nine and churning up rough seas that smashed two Chinese fishing ships into rocks and forced the coast guard to perform a daring rescue of survivors.
Rescuers saved 12 fishermen and searched for 10 still missing from the ships that hit rocks off South Korea's southern Jeju island. Five fishermen were killed, officials said.
Separately, at least four other people died as Typhoon Bolaven knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of South Koreans, canceled flights and temporarily halted joint war games by US and South Korean military forces.
North Korea, which is still struggling to rebuild from massive floods and a devastating drought before that, was next in the typhoon's path. Heavy rain and strong winds hit many parts of the country yesterday, a day that was supposed to be a North Korean celebration of its young people.
Off Jeju island, dangerous waves kept rescue vessels from approaching the wrecked fishing ships. The coast guard used a special gun to shoot rope to one ship so officers could pull themselves over and bring the fishermen back to shore, coast guard spokesman Ko Chang-keon said. Eighteen fishermen survived. The coast guard rescued 12, and the others swam or were washed ashore.
South Korea issued a storm warning for the capital, Seoul, as Bolaven battered the country's south and west, knocking over street lights and church spires and ripping signs from stores. A large container box crushed an apartment janitor to death, a woman fell to her death from a rooftop where she kept dried red peppers and another person died after bricks hit a house, according to disaster and fire officials. An 80-year-old man died after a small makeshift building fell on him, officials said.
Strong wind gusts left Seoul streets covered with leaves, garbage and branches. More than 15,000 schools canceled classes, and businesses and homes taped windows or pasted the glass with wet newspapers to keep them from shattering.
About 1.7 million South Korean homes and businesses lost power, the National Emergency Management Agency said, though all but about 200,000 had electricity restored by yesterday evening. More than 80 families were left homeless because of floods or storm damage. Nearly 200 flights were canceled, 860 hectares (2,130 acres) of farmland were flooded and 32 ships were damaged, the agency said in a statement.
In Pyongyang, Associated Press cameras captured cars splashing through slightly flooded streets, spraying people on crowded sidewalks who scrambled to avoid the water. Residents appeared to be going about their daily lives, though many wore rain boots and jackets, angling their umbrellas to fight the wind and rain.
n FROM: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The bad weather came on North Korea's first Youth Day since new leader Kim Jong Un took over in December.


Italy considers extending COVID-19 emergency until Jan. 31

Updated 01 October 2020

Italy considers extending COVID-19 emergency until Jan. 31

  • The emergency, set to expire in mid-October, gives the government greater powers

ROME: Italy is considering extending until Jan. 31 next year its state of emergency over the COVID-19 crisis, two national newspapers said on Thursday.
The emergency, set to expire in mid-October, gives the government greater powers, allowing officials to more easily bypass the bureaucracy that smothers much decision-making in Italy.
Dailies Il Messagero and Corriere della Sera said a cabinet meeting discussed the issue late on Wednesday.
“It is not official yet.. while at first (the government) talked about pushing it back to Dec. 31, during the meeting (the government) considered going beyond the end of the year, given that the cohabitation with the virus is destined to go on for a long time still,” Il Messaggero said.