Typhoon to hit South Korea on weekend

Typhoon to hit South Korea on weekend
PHOTO: AFP, NASA

A small yet powerful typhoon is expected to hit the Korean Peninsula over the weekend amid heavy seasonal rains, the weather agency said Friday.

Typhoon Halola is anticipated to reach Jejudo Island on Sunday with a speed of 12 kilometers per hour and move to the east coast, including the southeastern port city of Busan, according to the Korea Meteorological Agency. As of Friday afternoon, the typhoon was moving northwest from 440 kilometers southeast of Okinawa, Japan.

"The typhoon is moving more forward to the west than expected. While Jejudo Island, the east coast and southern parts of the country will likely be affected, it needs to be further watched whether the inland areas will also come under its direct influence," said a KMA official.

The central pressure of Halola is 965 hectopascals, with its maximum instantaneous wind speed of 37 meters per second, the official added.

As part of the efforts to prevent any possible typhoon damages, the government launched a response headquarters on Thursday and ordered all municipalities to raise the level of monitoring and tighten safety measures.

The typhoon is projected to dissipate over the east coast by late Monday, weather officials said.

Ahead of Halola, the heavy seasonal rains that started from late Thursday across the country will continue until Saturday. The capital and surrounding areas will also see thunder and lighting, they said.

Some areas in Gyeonggi and Gangwon Provinces will have rains of 20 to 30 millimeters per hour.

As of Friday afternoon, a heavy rain advisory was issued in the two provinces as the downpour exceeded 200mm, with Cheorwon in Gangwon Province getting 250mm of rain.

Another seasonal rain front will hit the peninsula after Halola passes by, the KMA said.

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