The typhoon, which was initially expected to make landfall in China’s northeast coast, has slowed down and stalled in the East China Sea near Shanghai. It is expected to change its direction to the east and move slowly northeast from the weekend. There is a possibility that it could approach the Korean Peninsula, depending on the future atmospheric pressure levels1.
Typhoon Khanun is a very strong storm, with maximum sustained winds of 180 kilometers per hour (112 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 252 kilometers per hour (156 miles per hour). It has already caused damage and disruption in Japan’s Okinawa islands, where it cut off power to one-third of homes and forced evacuations of about 20,000 people2. The typhoon also brought heavy rain and strong winds to Taiwan and the Philippines.
South Korea braces for potential impact of Typhoon Khanun
The KMA has warned that Typhoon Khanun could bring heavy rain and strong winds to South Korea, especially in the southern and eastern regions. The typhoon could also cause storm surges and flooding along the coast. The KMA said it will quickly communicate any necessary information once the possibility of the typhoon’s approaching the Korean Peninsula increases1.
The state-owned utility Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) said it has issued a warning as the typhoon may disrupt the nation’s power transmission facilities and equipment. It also said it has prepared emergency generators and personnel to deal with any power outages3. Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP), which operates nuclear reactors in the southeastern part of the country, said it is taking safety measures to minimize the impact of the typhoon4.
South Gyeongsang province, near Busan, said all of its schools will switch to virtual classes on Tuesday. Other local governments have also advised residents to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travel. The government has also mobilized disaster response teams and resources to cope with any emergencies5.
Typhoon Khanun adds to heat wave woes in South Korea
While Typhoon Khanun stalls in the East China Sea, the heat wave is expected to persist in South Korea. The typhoon will add more heat to the hot and humid air already blowing in from the North Pacific High and the Tibetan anticyclone. It will also bring strong winds toward the southern part of the country and Jeju Island1.
The KMA expects temperatures in South Korea to reach 33 to 35 degrees Celsius (91 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit) and tropical nights to continue in urban and coastal areas until August 11. The heat wave has already caused health problems and discomfort for many people, especially the elderly and those with chronic diseases. The government has issued heat alerts and advised people to drink plenty of water, avoid outdoor activities, and use air conditioners or fans6.
The heat wave has also affected agriculture and livestock, causing crop failures and animal deaths. The government has announced measures to support farmers and ranchers, such as providing subsidies, loans, insurance, and water supplies7.