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Thousands flee as Typhoon Hinnamnor hits South Korea

September 6, 2022

Heavy rain and strong winds have caused power outages, flight cancelations and school closures as the typhoon made landfall in southern parts of the country.

A man walks on a road along the coast damaged by Typhoon Hinnamnor in Ulsan
A man walks on a road along the coast damaged by Typhoon Hinnamnor in UlsanImage: Yonhap/REUTERS

Thousands of people were forced to evacuate as Typhoon Hinnamnor made landfall in South Korea on Tuesday.

Local media reported that at least three people had been killed and six others were missing.

It is one of the most powerful storms to hit the country in decades, authorities said.

It comes weeks after the capital Seoul and nearby regions were hit by heavy rainfall and flashfloods that killed at least 14 people.

What effect has Typhoon Hinnamnor had?

The typhoon left the Korean peninsula off the southeastern city of Ulsan at about 7:10 am, after landing on the coastal city of Geoje, the Korea Meteorological Administration said.

"Heavy rains, strong winds and a storm surge are expected until Tuesday," the country's weather agency said, warning against "very" high waves in the coastal areas.

 A man looks at a high wave caused by Typhoon Hinnamnor in Ulsan
South Korean officials put the nation on alert about potential damages from flooding, landslides and tidal wavesImage: Yonhap/REUTERS

Strong rains and winds destroyed trees and roads in southern regions. More than 89,000 homes were left without power.

As of early Tuesday, 3,463 people had been evacuated and one 25-year-old was reported missing in Ulsan, authorities said.

Another 15,000 people were advised to leave their homes amid warnings of landslides and flooding.

More than 600 schools were closed or moved to online classes, and more than 250 flights and 70 ferry services were grounded. More than 66,000 fishing boats returned to ports.

President Yoon Suk-yeol held emergency response meetings, urging officials to take precautions until the typhoon is completely gone.

Where is Hinnamnor headed next?

North Korea also braced for damage from the typhoon as leader Kim Jong Un presided over a two-day meeting on disaster prevention work, ordering the release of water from a dam near its border with its southern neighbor.

Despite South Korea's repeated requests for notice before releasing water downstream, Pyongyang has remained unresponsive.

The typhoon is expected to head northeast and pass about 400 kilometers northwest of Sapporo in Japan at about midnight on Tuesday.

How do tropical storms form?

ab, see/rt (Reuters, AP)