Sanba brings downpour, gales
1 killed in landslide, electricity cut in 450,000 homes
By Kim Rahn
Typhoon Sanba hit the southern part of the country Monday, causing one death, the evacuation of tens of thousands and the cancellation of sea and air passenger services.
The strong typhoon has dumped up to 800 millimeters of rain since Saturday before passing through the country Monday evening.
On Jeju Island, some mountainous regions had up to 810 millimeters of rainfall, with Jeju City receiving 405 millimeters.
The heavy rainfall inundated houses and caused landslides that buried some homes, displacing 300 people nationwide.
The damage was more serious in southern parts of the peninsula, including the port city of Busan and Gyeongsang provinces.
A landslide caused a house to collapse in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province, killing a 53-year-old woman. Two people were injured due to a separate landslide and the subsequent collapse of a building in Gyeongju, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
Electricity was cut in more than 450,000 houses nationwide, while most kindergartens, elementary, middle and high schools in southern regions temporarily closed or had shortened classes.
Almost all domestic flights were cancelled along with more than 70 international flights. Some 200 ferries linking the mainland and islands were also kept in port.
Typhoon Sanba left the peninsula in the late evening. It was the fourth typhoon this year to directly hit the peninsula, after typhoons Khanun, Bolaven and Tembin. It was also the first time in 50 years that four typhoons have passed through the country in a year. The last such occurrence was in 1962.
A flood warning was issued along a section of the Nakdong River in Gupo, Busan, as well as in regions along the Taehwa River in Ulsan. Hundreds of residents along the Hyeongsan River flowing through Gyeongju and Pohang took shelter after warnings were also issued.
Dozens of tunnels and bridges were closed, including the Geoga Grand Bridge linking Geoje Island and Busan. The light rail transit between Busan and Gimhae was also suspended to prevent a possible accident from the strong winds. Some KTX bullet trains had to run slower than usual due to gusting winds.
Some roads were closed due to landslides. On an expressway in Hamyang, South Gyeongsang Province, a landslide hit two points of the road, isolating some 10 vehicles in the section between piles of earth. People inside the vehicles remained isolated for hours until recovery work was completed.