As of 06:00 (local time) on Thursday, August 23, forecasts predicted that Typhoon Soulik will curve up the western coast of South Korea and bring related severe weather beginning Thursday. On Thursday morning, the storm was moving north-northwestward at 18 km/h (12 mph) and was producing maximum sustained winds of 148 km/h (92 mph) and gusts of up to 185 km/h (115 mph); the storm is expected to weaken through Friday, August 24. The storm is forecast to make landfall south of Incheon on Thursday evening before pushing inland just west of Seoul and crossing the Korean Peninsula by Friday morning. An estimated 7-15 cm (3-6 in) of rain is expected to fall on western and northern South Korea and could cause flooding in some areas. Mudslides are also possible in mountainous regions.
The storm passed near southern Jeju Island overnight on Wednesday, August 22, causing significant flight disruptions with over 130 flights canceled at Jeju International Airport (CJU). Soulik had also prompted significant flight delays at Incheon International Airport (ICN) as of 07:00 on Thursday. Additional flight disruptions are expected at ICN and other airports in South Korea on Thursday and Friday. Additionally, the storm may cause power outages across the Korean Peninsula due to heavy winds and rain in the coming hours.
Typhoons and tropical cyclones are common in the western Pacific from May through November.
Individuals present in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate strong winds and heavy rain (and associated transportation and power disruptions), and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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