Seoul, Sep 17 (EFE).- Typhoon Chanthu left buildings, streets and farmland flooded Friday as it passed by the South Korean island of Jeju, heading towards Japan.
Chanthu, the 14th Pacific typhoon of the season, reached its closest point to the island at 7 am local time (22:00 GMT Thursday), about 60 kilometers from the city of Seogwipo as it passed over the Korean Strait towards the Japanese island of Kyushu, where it is expected to make landfall in the next hours.
The tropical cyclone is moving northeast at 20 kph and has caused more than 1 meter of rain in some mountainous areas of Jeju this week, as it slowly approached the island from the south and then changed its trajectory towards the south of Japan.
Chanthu uprooted trees, traffic lights and railings, in addition to flooding farmland, roads and houses, and causing other material and structural damage, according to Yonhap news agency, citing official data.
The storm has also led authorities to block access to areas prone to flash flooding, the cancellation of 23 flights to or from Jeju, and the suspension of 48 ferries on 29 routes that connect the island with other areas of the country.
The South Korean meteorological agency has warned that torrential rains will continue during Friday and has issued advisories for the island, its nearby waters, the city of Busan and some parts of South Jeolla and Gyeongsang provinces.
In some towns in the southwest, including Yeosu and Suncheon, about 200 people were temporarily evacuated due to the risk of landslides and more than 60 percent have not been able to return.
Japan is tracking the path of the typhoon, which, if it maintains its current trajectory, is expected to make landfall on the island of Kyushu in the coming hours and to cross the archipelago from west to east over the weekend.
The main railway company in the southwest and west of Japan has said it will suspend much of its high-speed train services in the area during the day. EFE