Jeju braces for typhoon Noru

A powerful typhoon moving up from the waters south of Jeju Island, is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to southern parts of South Korea over the weekend, Korea's weather agency said Thursday.

Typhoon Noru, packing gusts of up to 176 kilometers per hour, is not projected to make landfall on the peninsula, instead heading east to Japan.

As of Thursday, the typhoon was moving toward Seogwipo on Jeju Island from 730 kilometers east of Japan's Okinawa Island, the Korea Meteorological Administration said. Jeju and Busan will see indirect impacts of wind gusts and at least 300-400 millimeters of rain from Saturday night.

Wind gusts, storm surges and torrential downpours will expand across the rest of the peninsula late Sunday night into Monday evening, with the highest risk expected in cities near East Sea.

Formed on July 20, Noru has recently reached super typhoon status, becoming the strongest developed so far this year. To become a super typhoon, a storm's peak winds must exceed 240 kilometers per hour.

Large swells caused by Noru have already been seen affecting parts of the Japanese coast and East Sea.

The Jeju Emergency Management Agency on Thursday activated emergency measures and issued advisories for high winds and waves on the sea near the southern island.

The Busan Metropolitan City also held an emergency meeting for preventive measures against possible landslides and stream flooding. It discussed ways to remove beach umbrellas and water sports activities structures.

Other municipalities said they are considering canceling summer festivities such as a beach festival slated for the weekend.

On Thursday, Seoul and most cities across the country saw blistering temperatures, with highs hovering in the mid-30s in metropolitan areas.

Daytime highs soared to 34 degrees Celsius in Seoul and Gwangju and on Jeju, while Jeonju saw its high get up to 35 degrees.

A heat wave warning was issued in Seoul, Incheon, Gwangju, Jeju and parts of South Gyeongsang, South Chungcheong, Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces.