South Korea braces for Typhoon Hinnamnor

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SEOUL – Just weeks after record rains brought deadly flooding to South Korea’s capital, the country braced itself Monday for Typhoon Hinnamnor, which forecasts indicated could be the strongest storm to make landfall in its recorded history.

Preparations were also made in China, where heavy rain fell in Shanghai on Monday morning, and in Japan. The typhoon was expected to bring strong winds and rain to the western Japanese island of Kyushu as early as Monday evening.

According to the Korea Meteorological Association, Hinnamnor was 342 miles south-southwest of the South Korean island of Jeju at 5 a.m. Monday. It was moving north, with maximum sustained winds of about 110 miles per hour, and was due to make landfall at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, 90 miles southwest of the port city of Busan.

Parts of Jeju were expected to receive more than 24 inches of rain. The Meteorological Bureau predicted 4 to 12 inches of rainfall across the country and winds of up to 134 miles per hour. On Sunday, the government issued its highest typhoon warning.

Numerous flights and ferry services have been cancelled. President Yoon Suk-yeol called for a “quick response in the event of damage”.

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The floods in Seoul last month, which killed at least nine people, were caused by almost 17 centimeters of rain falling in about a day. The typhoon is said to bring as much as 12 inches of rain to the Seoul area on Tuesday.

In 2002, Typhoon Rusa swept across the country, killing dozens and destroying more than a million homes. The following year, Typhoon Maemi killed more than 100 people and cost the country $1.6 billion in damage. Local news outlets predict that Hinnamnor will be as powerful as Rusa and Maemi.

The eye of the storm has been gaining speed as it travels across the northwest Pacific, leading forecasters to say it could spend less time over South Korea than previously expected, reducing the amount of time it could cause damage. is reduced.

On the island of Kyushu in Japan, authorities in Nagasaki prefecture have recommended the evacuation of 57,000 households. Some schools on the island announced they would be closing, and some planes, trains and ferries were out of service. The Japan Meteorological Agency advised people there to be alert for high waves, landslides and flooding, and to be prepared for high winds and tornadoes.

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In China, coastal areas made extensive preparations, even though the typhoon was far out to sea. Zhejiang province, just south of Shanghai, said it had evacuated more than 310,000 people. Shanghai turned off decorative lights along the historic Bund, stopped ferry services across the river and began additional security monitoring of the subway system.

China routinely makes extensive preparations in response to typhoons, often displacing large numbers of people from their homes whether they want to leave or not. The national government has a history of severely punishing local officials when typhoon injuries or deaths occur in their areas of responsibility, encouraging them to take sometimes extreme measures.

The terms typhoon, hurricane, and cyclone all refer to tropical cyclones; the term applied to a particular storm depends on where it comes from. Typhoons develop in the northwestern Pacific Ocean and mostly affect Asia. Hurricanes form in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, or the Gulf of Mexico.

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In the Atlantic, major hurricanes are defined as tropical cyclones with maximum sustained winds of 111 mph or higher, and defined as Category 3, 4, and 5 storms. But in the Asia-Pacific region, there are differences in how individual countries rate typhoons.

The links between tropical storms and climate change are becoming increasingly clear. While warming may not lead to more such storms, researchers have found that it has increased the frequency of major storms because a warmer ocean provides more of the energy that fuels them.

Hinnamnor formed in the Pacific at the end of an unusually calm August before storms in the Atlantic. But on Friday, Tropical Storm Danielle strengthened into a hurricane in the North Atlantic, the first of the season. Hours later, Tropical Storm Earl formed east of the Northern Leeward Islands, becoming the fifth storm of the season.

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