Tembin brings heavy rain, claims two lives
Typhoon Tembin brought heavy downpours and strong winds while cutting across South Korea at high speed Thursday afternoon, leaving two dead and three injured and forcing nearly 50 to evacuate their homes, weather and police officials said.
Tembin, named after a Japanese term for the zodiac sign Libra, was rapidly moving northeastward at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour across South Jeolla Province as of 1 p.m. after passing by the southern island of Jeju, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA).
A 52-year-old woman in South Jeolla Province was crushed to death by a steel gate that was knocked down by a gust of powerful wind at a construction site at around 11 a.m., police said. Another woman working at the site suffered a serious injury and was rushed to a nearby hospital.
A 66-year-old man was buried to death in Cheonan, about 100 km south of Seoul, while two people in Busan were injured after being hit by a flying object.
Also in South Jeolla Province, two apartment complexes were destroyed with 36 more inundated, and as a result 48 people were forced to evacuate their homes, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
Power supply was cut to some 91,897 households in several areas, and while power has been restored to most of them, 5,458 households are still without electricity, NEMA said.
Airports and seaports in Jeju Island, Busan and other provincial cities halted operations in light of the storm, and a total of 201 flights scheduled to fly before 3 p.m. were canceled, the Korea Airports Corp. said.
The tropical storm has weakened since earlier in the morning, maintaining a central pressure of 992 hectopascals and a maximum wind speed of 83 kilometers per hour as of 1 p.m., but southern areas including Jeju Island saw maximum wind speeds of up to 123 kilometers per hour, according to the KMA.
The tropical storm is expected to pass through the southern part of Gangwon Province by midnight before moving to waters off Gangneung, 237 kilometers east of Seoul, by Friday morning, the KMA said.
North and South Jeolla Provinces were drenched by downpours of more than 200 millimeters per hour. In Seoul and nearby regions, more than 30 millimeters per hour of rain is expected to fall until Friday.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard said it has suspended a search for missing Chinese fishermen whose boats ran aground in waters off Jeju on Tuesday during Typhoon Bolaven, which pounded South Korea earlier this week. Currently, nine crew members have been confirmed dead while six others remain missing. (Yonhap)