Tropical Storm Khanun has brought heavy rainfall and strong winds to South Korea, causing widespread flooding and disruptions in major urban centers. The storm made landfall in the morning, dumping over a foot of rain in southern areas and leading to reports of flooding and landslides. Emergency workers have been responding to the situation, and more than 10,000 people have already been forced to evacuate their homes.
Despite the intensity of the storm, no storm-related deaths or injuries have been reported so far. The authorities have taken preventive measures by shutting down motorways, streets, and public parks. Text alerts have also been sent out to warn residents about the dangers of the storm.
Khanun, with maximum winds blowing at 104 kph (64 mph) and moving at 38 kph (23 mph), slowly moved through the Korean Peninsula, affecting the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area where half of South Korea’s population lives. Although the storm is expected to move into North Korea on Friday, its impact will still be felt in the greater Seoul area until Friday afternoon.
The southern mainland cities of Changwon and Yangsan have experienced heavy rainfall, leading to flooded roads and landslides. Emergency workers have been working tirelessly to rescue people and clear debris from motorways. Coastal areas, such as Busan, have also been affected, with several motorways closed due to flooding.
Other cities and towns, including Gimhae, Ulsan, Pohang, and Gimcheon, have issued flood warnings for areas near rivers and streams. In Gangwon province, where more than 50 centimeters (20 inches) of rain is forecasted, officials have urged residents near at-risk streams to seek shelter.
The storm has also caused significant disruptions to transportation. Over 380 flights have been grounded, ferry services have been halted, and fishing vessels have been sent to port. Prior to reaching South Korea, Khanun had already impacted southern Japanese islands, leading to power outages and transit disruptions.
Despite the storm, organizers have decided to proceed with plans for a K-Pop concert to accompany the closing ceremony of the World Scout Jamboree. The 37,000 Scouts who were originally at a coastal campsite have been transferred to safer locations in Seoul and nearby areas.
As the storm continues to impact South Korea, it is important for residents to stay updated on the latest weather advisories and follow any instructions from the authorities.