Cyclone Khanun causes extensive damage in Korean peninsula

Seoul, Aug 11 (EFE).- South Korea was trying Friday to repair extensive damage caused by the passage of Typhoon Khanun, which killed one and left one missing and 360 cases of flooding or damaged infrastructure, while North Korea is on alert.

Khanun, the sixth Pacific typhoon of the season, downgraded to a severe tropical storm earlier in the day as it moved through southwestern Japan, killing two people and causing major transportation disruptions, ripped from Thursday through South Korea until the early hours of Friday.

The torrential rains caused by the typhoon left extensive flooding in different areas of the country, displacement of land and widespread interruptions in the air, rail, maritime and road transport systems, in addition to the closure of educational centers.

One person died and another is missing due to overflowing rivers and canals in the city of Daegu.

South Korean authorities received reports of up to 184 public buildings and infrastructure and another 177 private ones damaged by floods, landslides or gusts, most of them in the southeast of the country, where the typhoon made landfall.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol ordered the government and authorities at all levels Friday to “offer quick and sufficient support for those affected” by the typhoon and “guarantee ample assistance to the victims,” in statements collected by the local agency Yonhap.

Yoon also highlighted the importance of having applied preventive measures such as the early evacuation of some 15,000 people or the closure of some 2,400 tunnels or underground road passes, among other points at risk of flooding.

Khanun continued Friday with its trajectory in a northerly direction and crossed the border that separates the two Koreas, crossing Pyongyang at about 6am local time (21:00 GMT on Thursday), although the intensity of the front has already decreased, according to South Korea’s meteorological agency.

North Korean state television KCTV issued information alerts Thursday to ask the population to exercise extreme caution before the arrival of the cyclone, as other official regime media had already done in previous days.

North Korea has so far not reported significant damage due to the meteorological phenomenon, after announcing the application of “preventive measures” to prevent the typhoon from having a negative impact on the country’s economy or armed forces.

The lack of infrastructure makes the impoverished and isolated country even more vulnerable to extreme weather events such as torrential rains or floods, which in previous years have left thousands displaced and worsened the food situation. EFE


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