Typhoon Lingling is forecast to affect South Korea as early as Friday, bringing strong winds and heavy rain to the southern and western regions of the country, the state weather agency said Wednesday.
The typhoon was moving northeast at 5 km per hour in waters 450 km southeast of Taipei as of 3 p.m., according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.
The southern island of Jeju and the southern part of the country will experience strong wind and heavy downpours starting on Friday, the KMA said.
Lingling is expected to make landfall on the northern part of Gyeonggi Province surrounding Seoul on late Saturday and to leave the Korean Peninsula through Gangwon Province on Sunday, officials said.
The weather agency warned of strong winds in the southern and western regions of the country, with wind speeds expected to peak at 125-162 kilometers per hour, or 35-45 meters per second (m/s).
Winds of 28.5-32.6 m/s can uproot trees, while stronger gusts of 32.7 m/s or more can topple ships, according to the Beaufort wind force scale.
"Damage from the strong wind is most worrisome. ... It will be difficult for people to stand still outdoors," an agency official said, raising the need for preparation in both urban and rural areas.
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon hosted a meeting earlier in the day, ordering relevant government ministries and provincial governments to prepare for the typhoon.
He also urged people in the area to be careful of the typhoon in a tweet, comparing Lingling to Typhoon Bolaven, which killed 10 people and caused property damage of 636.5 billion won ($526 million) in the country in 2012. (Yonhap