The government raised the level of warnings to the highest, as the powerful typhoon is expected to arrive in the nation’s central area Friday. News reports said the typhoon is expected to pass areas about 90 kilometers southeast of Seoul around 11 a.m.
President Moon Jae-in called for all-out efforts to minimize damage from the approaching typhoon and measures to ensure the safety of separated families from the two Koreas set to hold reunions this week.
“I feel burdened hearing the news of the damage on Jeju Island,” Moon said.
|President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)|
“The government must fully utilize its crisis management capabilities over the next two days when the typhoon will pass through, and minimize damage inflicted on the people,” he said.
His remarks were made during a visit to the crisis management center, set up at the National Security Office of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. Moon’s visit came two days after he ordered the presidential National Security Council to open a 24-hour crisis management center.
Typhoon Soulik, the 19th typhoon this year, struck the southern island of Jeju on early Thursday morning.
Seoul has ordered a temporary closure of public schools in the capital and several other areas, as the typhoon is expected to hit the nation's central region on Friday morning.
The Korea Meteorological Administration said the powerful tropical storm was heading north at a speed of 16 kph after it passed through seas about 90 kilometers off Jeju, as of 6 a.m.
Typhoon rains totaling 746 millimeters pounded Hallasan, South Korea’s largest mountain in Jeju, with 490.5 mm of rain falling on the island’s southern city and 210.4 mm in the north overnight until 10 a.m.
One woman in her 20s was missing and another man injured. The storm had caused blackouts in 6,517 households as of 11 a.m.
Soulik has a 340 km wind radius and central pressure of 960 hectopascal.
|A streetlight, a tree and a signboard collapse as Typhoon Soulik brings strong winds and rain to Jeju Island on Thursday. (Yonhap)|
The typhoon was expected to land in the western coastal city of Gunsan in North Jeolla Province overnight, the KMA said.
KMA officials said it would likely lash Chungcheong and Gangwon provinces on Friday morning and pass through the eastern area during the day, after bringing heavy rains and strong winds that could result in considerable damage and disturbances.
Soulik was initially forecast to hit Seoul at 4 a.m., but it slowed down and changed directions. It is now more likely to stay longer in the nation’s central region, according to the officials.
Most provinces have issued typhoon warnings and taken precautionary measures to minimize possible damage. Major ports across the nation have been closed temporarily, and 216 flights at nine key airports have been canceled. Over 1,490 schools in the country have closed due to the typhoon.
The typhoon will slip away into the East Sea by Friday afternoon and dissipate in the sea off Vladivostok in Russia, the KMA predicted.
From news reports