Seoul, Sep 5 (EFE).- The Korean peninsula was on alert Monday over the approach of typhoon Hinnamnor, the most powerful storm in the Pacific this year, expected to make landfall the following day near the South Korean city of Busan along the southeastern coast.
At 12 pm, Hinnamnor was about 330 kilometers (205 miles) south of the South Korean island of Jeju, packing winds of between 160 and 190 kilometers per hour (99-118 miles per hour) and is expected to pass along its southeastern coast Monday, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.
The agency classified the storm as “very strong,” the third highest level on a four-tier scale.
The typhoon is expected to make landfall at about 9am on Tuesday about 80 kilometers northwest of Busan, the second largest South Korean city with a population of more than 7 million inhabitants.
Although the administration plans to downgrade Hinnamnor to “strong”, this typhoon could be the strongest-ever typhoon to make landfall in the country.
Since Sunday, Hinnamnor has been causing persistent rains across South Korea, where between 100 and 300 millimeters (4-12 inches) of rain is expected to be recorded until Tuesday morning.
North Korean authorities have also issued a heavy rain alert in the eastern province of Gangwon, the south of the southwestern provinces of North and South Hwanghae, and the city of Kaesong, according to state media.
South Korea has asked the North to notify it of the opening of dams whose water goes to the Imjin River, which flows into the delta formed by this and the Han river near the South Korean capital, Seoul, and which may be the scene of major flooding.
North Korea, which has opened dams without notice in recent years, has yet to acknowledge the South Korean message sent on Monday.
Many ferry services were suspended Monday in South Korea and more than 50 flights grounded so far.
Schools have also been asked to move to online classes on Tuesday and companies to push back the entry times of their employees. EFE