North, South Korea brace for strong typhoon, flights halted

North, South Korea brace for strong typhoon, flights halted
High waves crash onto Haeundae Beach in Busan, South Korea, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, as Typhoon Bavi approaches the Korean Peninsula. 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.(Jo Jong-ho/Yonhap via AP)

Hundreds of flights were canceled 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 kilometers (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 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 canceled as of Wednesday evening. South Korean authorities also shut public parks and sea bridges and moved hundreds of and other vessels, the ministry said.

  • North, South Korea brace for strong typhoon, flights halted
    This Aug. 25, 2020, satellite image released by NASA shows Typhoon Bavi near South Korean island of Jeju. Typhoon Bavi as of Wednesday morning was near the South Korean island of Jeju and was on course to hit the northwest coast of the Korean Peninsula around daybreak Thursday morning. South Korea's weather agency said it had a maximum wind speed of 155 kilometers per hour (96 mph) and was forecast as one of the strongest to hit the peninsula this year. (NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) via AP)
  • 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)
  • North, South Korea brace for strong typhoon, flights halted
    An electronic signboard shows canceled flights at Jeju International Airport 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)
  • North, South Korea brace for strong typhoon, flights halted
    Fishing boats are tied at a port in Mokpo, South Korea, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, as Typhoon Bavi approaches the Korean Peninsula. 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.(Park Chul-hong/Yonhap via AP)

In the capital, Seoul, and other cities, 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 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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