Over 150 flights affected as storm hits South Korea
DOMESTIC flights were cancelled in South Korea yesterday as Typhoon Chan-hom brought strong winds and heavy rainfall to south-western provinces, after wreaking substantial damage in China.
The storm grounded more than 150 domestic flights nationwide, the airport authorities said. International flights were not affected.
A strong wind and rainstorm alert has been issued along the southern and western coastal areas, which received up to 291mm of rain.
The authorities in China evacuated more than a million people as the typhoon swiped the eastern coast on Saturday, paralysing transport links and devastating farmland, although no casualties were reported, the Chinese government and state media said.
Huge waves struck the coast in Wenling, in the east of worst-hit Zhejiang province, while further north, people in the city of Shaoxing scrambled onto diggers and dragged themselves along ropes to escape the flood waters.
The provincial authorities estimate that economic losses from the storm could reach more than 1.9 billion yuan (S$400 million), particularly in the agricultural sector, the Chinese state media reported.
Pictures from the region showed smashed greenhouses, flooded irrigation systems and ruined crops.
In the wake of the storm, photos circulating on the Internet showed residents, young and old, catching fish that the typhoon had washed ashore.
China's National Meteorological Centre yesterday downgraded its alert on the typhoon from red to orange, its second-highest warning.
But it issued a rainstorm alert for the provinces of Shandong, Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang, and forecast strong gales in the north of the East China Sea.
Five people in the Philippines were killed last week, and more than 20 people were injured in Japan on Friday.
Taiwan was also affected by the storm, closing its stock market and shutting schools and offices on Friday, as heavy rainfall and fierce winds battered the north.
A number of flights in and out of Japan's Okinawa island chain and northern Taiwan were cancelled.
The weather authorities said the typhoon would be downgraded to a tropical storm when it reaches North Korea's Hwanghae province this morning.
China's official Xinhua News Agency yesterday tracked the life of Chan-hom, saying that it started to form in the north-west Pacific Ocean on June 30, developed into a typhoon on July 3, and grew into a super-typhoon on Thursday before weakening on Saturday.