SEOUL, South Korea (TBEN) – Hundreds of flights were grounded and more than 200 people were evacuated in South Korea on Monday as Typhoon Hinnamnor approached the southern region of the country with heavy rains and winds up to 290 kilometers (180 miles) ) per hour, the worst storm in decades.
South Korea’s weather bureau said the country will feel the full force of Hinnamnor, the strongest global storm this year, early Tuesday, when it is expected to graze on the southern resort island of Jeju before making landfall nearby. from the mainland city of Busan.
Government officials expressed concern about potentially massive damage from flooding, landslides and tidal waves. President Yoon Suk Yeol urged maximum efforts to avoid casualties during an emergency meeting on Monday. Prime Minister Han Duk-soo called for proactive efforts to evacuate residents in areas vulnerable to flooding.
On Monday afternoon, Hinnamnor was located 290 kilometers (180 miles) southwest of Jeju over the open sea. It has dumped 46 centimeters (18 inches) of rain in the central part of Jeju since Sunday, where winds were blowing at a maximum speed of 124 km/h (77 mph) and were increasing.
The South Korean Ministry of Interior and Security said there were no direct reports of casualties. At least 11 homes and buildings were flooded in Jeju, while more than 200 people were forced to evacuate in Busan and nearby towns over security concerns.
On Monday afternoon, more than 360 domestic flights and 66 ferry services across the country were grounded as thousands of fishing boats returned to port. All schools in Busan and nearby southern regions are scheduled to be closed and transitioning to online classes on Tuesday, officials said.
Cities in eastern China have suspended ferry services and lessons, and more than 100 flights were canceled in Japan on Sunday as Hinnamnor passed through the region.