Typhoon Maysak made landfall in South Korea early on Thursday, September 3, west-southwest of the city of Busan. Sustained winds of up to 180 kph (110 mph) have been recorded, making Maysak the strongest typhoon of the season so far at the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane. Prior to making landfall, strong winds had already been reported across the country, with over 20,000 without power as of Wednesday evening. Evacuations have been ordered in Gyeongnam province, and train services throughout the country have been canceled or reduced.
Continued strong winds and heavy rain are forecast for South Korea over the course of Thursday, with the associated risk of landslides and flooding. A significant disruption to transportation, business, and utilities is to be expected in the near term.
Tropical storms can form in the Pacific Ocean at any time of year, although most typhoons occur during a peak season between June and November. In general, storm systems make landfall along South Korea's southern and southeastern coasts, making these areas, which are home to many industrial and port facilities, particularly at risk of experiencing the full brunt of storms or typhoons. The country has comprehensive and reliable weather tracking and emergency management systems, although powerful storm systems can overwhelm preparedness and recovery programs.
Individuals in areas forecast to be affected by the storm system are advised to monitor local weather reports, confirm flight reservations, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate adverse weather and power and transportation disruptions, and remember that running water can be dangerous. Never drive through flooded streets; floodwater may also contain wastewater and chemical products.
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