A powerful typhoon early yesterday slammed into South Korea, killing at least one person and disrupting power to 57,000 households before turning toward North Korea, authorities said.
Typhoon Lingling struck Jeju Island and southern port cities overnight, knocking out power and damaging buildings as it moved north at 49kph, the South Korean Ministry of the Interior and Safety said in a statement.
A 75-year-old woman was killed after being blown over by strong winds in Boryeong, a city 140km southwest of Seoul, and at least two other people were injured, it said.
More than 230 flights were canceled and power outages were reported in tens of thousands of homes, authorities said, while public parks and zoos were closed for the weekend due to heavy rain and strong winds.
The storm, which was packing wind speeds of up to 125kph, was projected to pass by the capital, Seoul, and reach North Korea by about 6pm, a ministry official told reporters.
The eye of the typhoon was expected to pass over the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, according to a tracking map the Korea Meteorological Administration posted on its Web site.
Officials from the agency warned of the possibility of landslides and flooding, advising the public to stay indoors.
On Friday in Pyongyang, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over an emergency meeting to discuss “urgent emergency measures to cope with the typhoon,” state media reported yesterday.
Kim convened the meeting and said that “dangerous circumstances” caused by the typhoon were “imminent,” but that many in positions of authority were ill-prepared, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
Senior North Korean officials “remain unchanged in their attitude and helpless against the typhoon, unaware of its seriousness and seized with easygoing sentiment,” KCNA quoted Kim as saying, adding that he called for full emergency measures.
Efforts to minimize the damage from the typhoon in North Korea would be an “enormous struggle,” Kim was quoted as saying, adding that the nation’s military should “remain loyal to its sacred duty” of ensuring citizens’ safety.
KCNA said in a separate statement that government officials and the armed forces were preparing to “urgently dispatch forces to damaged areas by using various kinds of alarm and communications means, and secure relief goods and building equipment and materials and mobilize transport.”
The impoverished and isolated North is vulnerable to natural disasters, especially floods, due in part to deforestation and poor infrastructure.
At least 138 North Koreans were known to have died after torrential rain triggered major floods in 2016, the UN said at the time.
More than 160 people were killed by a massive rainstorm in the summer of 2012.
A coronavirus-free tropical island nestled in the northern Pacific might seem the perfect place to ride out a pandemic, but residents on Palau said that life right now is far from idyllic. The microstate of 18,000 people is among a dwindling number of places on Earth that still report zero cases of COVID-19 as figures mount daily elsewhere. The disparate group also includes Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea and bases on the frozen continent of Antarctica. A dot in the ocean hundreds of kilometers from its nearest neighbors, Palau is surrounded by the vast Pacific Ocean, which has acted as a buffer against the
Dutch scientists have found the coronavirus in a city’s wastewater before COVID-19 cases were reported, demonstrating a novel early warning system for the disease. SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — is often excreted in an infected person’s stool. Although it is unlikely that sewage will become an important route of transmission, the pathogen’s increasing circulation in communities would increase the amount of it flowing into sewer systems, Gertjan Medema and colleagues at the KWR Water Research Institute in Nieuwegein said on Monday. They detected genetic material from the coronavirus at a wastewater treatment plant in Amersfoort on March 5, before
TRUE TOLL? Some Chinese are skeptical about official data, particularly given the overwhelmed medical system and initial attempts to cover up the outbreak The long lines and stacks of urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan, China, are spurring questions about the true scale of casualties at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, renewing pressure on a Chinese government struggling to control its containment narrative. The families of those who succumbed to the coronavirus in the city, where the disease first emerged, were allowed to pick up their cremated ashes at eight funeral homes last week. As they did, photographs circulated on Chinese social media of thousands of urns being ferried in. Outside one funeral home, trucks shipped in about 2,500
KEEN INTEREST: India is trying to procure medical gear from domestic producers and abroad, and China has emerged as a possible supplier as its factories reopen India is to buy ventilators and masks from China to help it deal with COVID-19, a government official said yesterday, even though some countries in Europe had complained about the quality of the equipment. India has recorded 1,251 cases of the coronavirus, with 32 deaths, but health experts said the country of 1.3 billion people could see a major surge in cases that could overwhelm its weak public health system. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said that it was trying to procure medical gear, including masks and body coveralls, both from domestic firms and from countries such as South Korea and