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Typhoon Khanun leaves one dead in S. Korea

The entrance to the Cheonggyecheon stream in central Seoul is blocked Thursday morning after typhoon Khanun hit the nation. (Photo by Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)

Publication Date : 20-07-2012


Typhoon Khanun dumped heavy rains on South Korea Thursday morning, leaving one dead, tens of thousands of households without electricity and major transportation systems at a halt before it subsided in the afternoon.

The government said that the first tropical storm of this year left less-than-feared damage.

The Korean Meteorological Administration cleared most of the typhoon alerts and warnings nationwide as of 1pm.

The state weather agency said that the typhoon reached Korea on Wednesday where it lost its power and turned into an extratropical cyclone in the seas off Sokcho, Gangwon Province. Still, torrential downpours and strong winds were expected to continue until late Thursday night in some parts of the country, it said.

According to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters, an 84-year-old woman surnamed Chung died Thursday morning when the walls of her house in Sangju, North Gyeongsang Province, collapsed as the typhoon shook the region. Her son, 45-year-old Kim, injured his shoulders and was moved to a nearby hospital.

A total of 26,236 households in 12 regions including Jeju Island and South Jeolla Province faced temporary blackouts that caused about 13 million won (US$11,420) in damages, according to the Korea Electric Power Corporation, while three ships reported breakage.

More than 120 passenger liners and 100 flights have been grounded due to the wind shear alert while authorities released water in Namgang and Boseong dams. North Korean authorities on Wednesday also released water at Hwangang Dam near the border of the two Koreas, leading South Korean authorities to impose evacuation orders on residents and holidaymakers at Imjin River and nearby areas.

The typhoon dumped 97.5 millimetres of rain in Suncheon, South Jeolla Province, and 53.4 millimetres in Jeju as of 6am. Schools in Gyeonggi and North Jeolla provinces as well as Incheon have delayed class hours or taken a day off for safety.

The downpour in Seoul which marked around 80 millimetres as of Thursday noon halted traffic in the morning. Many commuters left their cars at home and took public transportation. The Seoul Metro ordered a slowdown of train speeds to prevent trouble with slippery rails.

Major roads in Seoul including Heonleungro, Yangjaecheonro and Gaehwagapmun were blocked and pedestrians were prohibited from accessing Cheonggyecheon, a stream in central Seoul.


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