Typhoon Haishen has caused severe travel disruptions and cut power to thousands in the southern regions of the country as it made landfall in Ulsan (Gyeongsang province) on Monday, September 7. At least 30,000 houses have been left without electricity in Ulsan due to the typhoon. Overland travel has been significantly disrupted as the typhoon and its torrential rains destroyed traffic lights and trees and caused at least one landslide. The landslide was reported in close proximity to a tunnel on a road connecting Busan (Gyeongsang province) and Changwon (Gyeongsangnam-do province). One person was also reportedly injured in Busan after a car flipped due to strong winds.
The Korea Airports Corporation reported that more than 300 flights in ten airports have been grounded in South Korea as of Monday. Multiple roads near the sea and rivers have been closed by authorities as a precaution due to potential flooding in Busan. Trains connecting Busan to surrounding cities have also been temporarily suspended.
Over 1600 residents in southern parts of the country have been evacuated as a precaution due to the possibility of landslides or flooding. South Korea's Forest Service raised the landslide alert to the highest level and a typhoon alert is active for the island of Jeju and several areas of the country as of Monday. Typhoon Haishen is currently forecast to travel northwards along South Korea's eastern coast and reach North Korea by midnight, where it is predicted to dissipate.
Strong winds, heavy rains, and rough seas are to be expected during the passing of the storm, and resultant flooding, landslides, infrastructural damage, and disruptions are possible in southern and eastern areas 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.
Those 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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