South Korea braces for ‘very strong’ typhoon, companies curb operations


A woman struggles through strong winds brought by Typhoon Hinnamnor to Naha, Okinawa prefecture, Japan in this photo taken by Kyodo September 4, 2022. Mandatory Credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

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SEOUL, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Typhoon Hinnamnor approached South Korea on Monday, forcing the cancellation of flights, the suspension of some business operations and the closure of schools, as the country raised its level typhoon warning at its highest level.

Heavy rains and strong winds battered the southern part of the country, with the typhoon moving north at a speed of 24 km/h (15 mph). Hinnamnor is expected to make landfall southwest of the port city of Busan early Tuesday, after reaching waters off Jeju Island later Monday.

President Yoon Suk-yeol said on Monday he would be on emergency standby, a day after ordering authorities to do all they can to minimize damage from the typhoon which has been rated as “very strong”.

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“Very strong winds and heavy rain are expected across the country through Tuesday due to the typhoon, with very high waves expected in the coastal region as well as a storm and tsunami,” the Meteorological Administration said. Korean (KMA).

According to KMA’s forecast, Hinnamnor is heading northeast towards Sapporo, Japan.

South Korea classifies typhoons into four categories – normal, strong, very strong, super strong – and Hinnamnor is expected to hit the country as a “very strong” typhoon, according to the KMA. Typhoons in this classification have wind speeds of up to 53 meters per second.

Warnings were issued in southern cities, including Gwangju, Busan, Daegu and Ulsan, following that of the southern island of Jeju, while the central headquarters for disasters and security countermeasures relieved Sunday its typhoon alert level at the highest of its four levels. system, the first time in five years.

The city of Busan and its surrounding areas received rain throughout the weekend, with more rain expected across the country on Monday and Tuesday.

No casualties have been reported so far, although more than 100 people have been evacuated and at least 11 facilities have been damaged by the floods.

Steelmaker POSCO (005490.KS) told Reuters it considered suspending some of its production processes in the city of Pohang on Tuesday, while SK Innovation (096770.KS), owner of major South Korean refiner SK Energy , said he had asked carrier ships not to operate until the typhoon had passed.

Responding to local media reports of planned shutdowns of their operations, South Korean shipbuilders Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (009540.KS), Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) (042660.KS) and Samsung Heavy Industries, DSME said a decision on suspending its operations will be made later Monday.

According to their websites, Korean Air Lines (003490.KS) and Asiana Airlines (020560.KS) have canceled most of their Monday flights to Jeju Island, while low-cost airlines like Air Seoul and Jin Air have canceled some of their flights.

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Reporting by Joori Roh; Additional reporting by Joyce Lee and Heekyong Yang; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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