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(4th LD) Typhoon Tapah lashes S. Korea with strong winds, heavy rains

All Headlines 17:01 September 22, 2019

(ATTN: RECASTS lead; ADDS more info throughout)

SEOUL, Sept. 22 (Yonhap) -- Typhoon Tapah lashed southern parts of South Korea on Sunday, with strong winds and heavy rains blamed for the death of one person and several injuries, as well as the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

The powerful typhoon was some 110 kilometers southeast of the southern island of Jeju, traveling at a speed of 35 km per hour, as of 3 p.m., according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA). Jeju was the closest point on land to the storm.

This year's 17th typhoon packed wind gusts of 126 kph with an atmospheric pressure of 970 hectopascals at its center.

TV footage showed a reporter at Jeju's port of Seogwipo unable to stand still due to powerful winds.

The typhoon is expected to move north toward the southeastern port city of Busan and pass about 70 km south of the city at around 6 p.m. It is expected to be closest to Busan around 10 p.m. at 50 km. The typhoon is expected to traverse some 60 km east of the easternmost islets of Dokdo at around 6 a.m. on Monday.

The interior and safety ministry upgraded the weather alert level to "vigilance" from "attention" Saturday as the typhoon is expected to seriously affect the country's southern region.

Wild waves and strong winds pummel Haeundae Beach in South Korea's southeastern port city of Busan on Sept. 22, 2019, as Typhoon Tapah approaches South Korea. (Yonhap)

Parts of Jeju had received 668.5 millimeters of rain and Sancheong County in South Gyeongsang Province had reported 257.5 mm of rainfall as of 3 p.m., the weather agency said.

In Busan, causalities were reported due to wind gusts.

An old two-story house collapsed Saturday, killing a 72-year-old woman who lived on the first floor.

A 69-year-old motorcycle rider was receiving treatment after colliding with a streetlamp that fell down due to strong winds early Sunday. A 44-year-old man hurt his head after being hit by the roof of a bicycle storage unit that was blown off by winds.

The large glass window of a building in Busan was shattered by strong winds and fell on the sidewalk below. But there were no reported casualties.

Some 200 households also suffered a power failure Saturday night as a makeshift installation at a construction site hit an electric cable when it fell down due to gusts.

This photo shows an old two-story house that collapsed in the southeastern port city of Busan on Sept. 21, 2019, killing a 72-year-old woman who lived on the first floor. (Yonhap)

According to the government, hundreds of flights in nine airports across the country were cancelled due to the typhoon.

As of 4 p.m., 391 flights were cancelled on Jeju, beginning with Asiana Airlines Flight OZ8900 scheduled to depart for Seoul's Gimpo at 6:30 a.m.

More cancellations are expected later in the day as the typhoon approached the country, the ministry said.

"Passengers are advised to make sure their flights remain on schedule before leaving for airports," a transport ministry official said.

The KMA called for thorough preparation for the typhoon in coastal and inland areas as serious damage is expected.

"Jeju is expected to be under the influence of the typhoon until Sunday night," a weather agency official said. "It is forecast to affect the southern region and the East Sea until tomorrow morning."

Palm trees sway from strong winds on South Korea's southern island of Jeju on Sept. 22, 2019, as Typhoon Tapah approaches the country. (Yonhap)


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