South Korea is preparing for the arrival of a powerful Typhoon Khanun on Wednesday. According to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), the typhoon is advancing northward over waters 360 kilometers southeast of Jeju Island’s Seogwipo with a central pressure of 970 hectopascals and maximum wind speeds of up to 35 meters per second. The KMA predicts it will reach waters 120 km south of the southern coastal city of Tongyeong at 3 a.m. Thursday and make landfall in the country later that morning. When it reaches South Korea, the typhoon will remain “strong” in intensity, bringing winds faster than 15 meters per second in its 340 km radius and faster than 25 meters per second in a 120 km radius. The typhoon is then expected to travel further north to brush by the central city of Cheongju at 3 p.m. Thursday and pass as close as 30 km east of Seoul at 9 p.m. the same day before crossing the inter-Korean border to reach 120 km southeast of the North Korean capital of Pyongyang at 3 a.m. Friday. When Khanun nears Cheongju, the typhoon’s force may diminish slightly to “medium” with the central pressure likely at 980 hPa and maximum wind speeds of 29 meters per second. Jeju Island and the southern coast have already come under its influence Wednesday morning, bringing winds as fast as 24 meters per second. Scores of flights were grounded Wednesday on Jeju Island and in the southeastern city of Busan, while all passenger ships from and to the island were also suspended. The typhoon is expected to put the entire nation under its influence until Friday morning, dumping heavy rain and causing strong wind. Gangwon Province, in particular, may experience rain as strong as 100 millimeters per hour with an accumulated precipitation of up to 600 mm, while the greater Seoul area is expected to see up to 200 mm of rain. Southern coastal regions will also see wind as strong as 40 meters per second.
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