(ATTN: ADDS gov’t response at bottom)
South Korea’s southeastern coast is anticipated to be affected by Typhoon Khanun later this week, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration. The storm is predicted to bring winds as strong as 44 meters per second.
Khanun was located 330 kilometers east-northeast of Japan’s Okinawa at 9 a.m. Monday and is expected to reach waters 90 km southwest of Busan at 9 p.m. on Thursday. The typhoon is forecasted to have a maximum wind speed between 33 meters per second and 44 meters per second when it nears Busan, a velocity strong enough to derange a running train.
The storm is then predicted to move northward, passing the Korean Peninsula vertically and bringing strong winds faster than 15 m/s across South Korea. It is expected to reach 40 km northwest of North Korea’s Hamhung at 9 a.m. Friday, and pass by China’s northeast and diminish into an extratropical cyclone at the same time on Saturday.
Regions across South Korea will experience strong winds and rains under the influence of Khanun through Thursday, with the southeast coast expected to see strong winds of around 40 m/s and winds between 15 m/s and 35 m/s for the rest of the regions. Gangwon Province may see rains of up to 400 millimeters, while the rest of the regions may receive between 50 mm and 200 mm of rain, the agency said.
In response to the typhoon’s impending landfall, the government’s Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters raised its disaster readiness alert level up a notch to level 2 from level 1 as of 6 p.m. Interior Minister Lee Sang-min said the government will focus its administrative power on preventing casualties by restricting access to areas prone to disasters, such as mountains, underpasses and old reservoir zones. He added authorities plan to preemptively evacuate residents in high-risk areas to prevent casualties.