Typhoon Lingling is the 13th one of the year. It is currently located about 320 kilometres northwest of Kadena Air Base on the Japanese island of Okinawa.
Lingling has sustained winds of 205km/h with gusts nearing 250km/h. This is equivalent to a strong category 3 hurricane. Hurricane Dorian has recently been downgraded to a category 1 storm.
Typhoon Lingling is expected to maintain this intensity for much of Friday before starting to weaken as the outer bands of the storm begin to interact with the land on approach towards South Korea.
The system is moving northwards and it is expected to move into the Yellow Sea by Saturday, by which time the sustained winds within the typhoon will be 170km/h with gusts reaching 210km/h.
It is then forecast to hit the North Korean province of Hwanghae by the evening as it picks up speed, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.
Preliminary typhoon warnings have been issued across South Korea.
“Record-breaking winds will be seen at islands and southern and western coastal areas,” the weather agency said, advising local governments and residents to take precautionary measures.
Typhoon Lingling threatens all the usual hazards. Even though the winds will gradually weaken, the possibility of strong floods and mudslides from the torrential rains and likely storm surge exist.
Travel disruption has already begun around the Korea Strait. Many flights have been affected and some ocean routes have also been blocked, with most of the 14 passenger ships that operate between Jeju and other parts of the country cancelled.
Typhoon warning levels have been raised and port cities have also taken action with more than 300 cargo vessels evacuated in docks in Incheon, the country’s second-largest port city, just west of Seoul.