S. Korea braces for ‘very strong’ typhoon, businesses suspend operations

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SEOUL, Sept 5 2010 (Reuters) – Typhoon Hinamunor approached South Korea as the country raised its typhoon-alert level to the highest level, canceling flights, closing some businesses and schools.

Heavy rain and strong winds lashed the southern part of the country as the storm moved northward at speeds of 24 kilometers per hour (15 mph). Hinamnor is expected to make landfall southwest of the port city of Busan after reaching waters off Jeju Island on Tuesday.

President Yun Suk-yeol said on Monday that he would be on emergency standby, a day after ordering authorities to make every effort to minimize damage from the typhoon, which was rated as “very strong.”

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“Due to the typhoon, very strong winds and heavy rains are expected across the country until Tuesday. Very high waves along with storm surges and tsunamis are expected along the coast,” the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said.

According to the KMA forecast, Hinamnor is heading northeast toward Sapporo, Japan.

South Korea divides typhoons into four categories – normal, strong, very strong, extremely strong – and Hinamnor is expected to hit the country as an “extremely strong” typhoon, according to the KMA. Hurricanes under this category have wind speeds of up to 53 meters per second.

Warnings were issued in southern cities including Gwangju, Busan, Daegu and Ulsan on the southern island of Jeju, while the Central Office for Disaster and Safety Prevention raised the typhoon warning level by four levels on Sunday. system, for the first time in five years.

Busan city and surrounding areas received rain throughout the weekend.

More than 100 people have been displaced from their homes and at least 11 institutions have been damaged by the flood, but no human lives have been damaged so far.

Steelmaker POSCO ( 005490.KS ) told Reuters on Tuesday it was considering halting some of its production processes in the city of Pohang, while South Korea’s top refiner SK Energy, owner of SK Energy ( 096770.KS ), said it had asked not to request tankers. To work until the storm passes.

South Korean shipbuilders Korea Shipbuilding & Coastal Engineering (009540.KS), Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) (042660.KS) and Samsung Heavy Industries (042660.KS) responded to local media reports. The suspension of DSME operations will take place after Monday.

Korean Airlines ( 003490.KS ) and Asiana Airlines ( 020560.KS ) canceled most of their Monday flights to Jeju Island, according to their websites, while budget airlines such as Air Seoul and Jin Air also canceled some flights.

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Reporting by Joori Roh; Additional reporting by Joyce Lee and Heekyong Yang; Editing by Muralikumar Anatharaman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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