Typhoon Bolaven heads to Korean peninsula

Catagory-4 typhoon expected to pass near South Korean island of Jeju after battering Japan's Okinawa prefecture.

    Typhoon Bolaven heads to Korean peninsula
    At least five people were injured and hundreds forced to evacuate homes on Sunday in Okinawa [Reuters]

    A powerful typhoon is heading towards the Korean peninsula after battering Japan's Okinawa prefecture with heavy rains and wind. 

    Typhoon Bolaven was expected to pass near South Korea's southern island of Jeju early on Monday before moving to the Korean peninsula, the Japanese meteorological agency said. 

    At least five people were injured and hundreds forced to evacuate homes on Sunday in Okinawa due to the Category-4 typhoon, one of the region's worst storms in years with peaked winds of 252km. 

    Residents of Naha, Okinawa's capital, were advised to stay indoors as public broadcaster NHK showed footage of deserted streets lined with trees felled by strong winds.

    As of 0200GMT, the typhoon was about 300km north of Naha, moving north at a speed of 40km with gusts of up to 216km per hour, the agency said.

    Traffic in Okinawa remained paralysed on Monday, with all flights to and from Naha airport and ships linking the main island with smaller islands in the chain cancelled.

    "But if the weather permits, airlines may be able to resume flights in the afternoon," an airport official said.

    On Sunday, roads and bus services were closed on the island while an elevated rail link in Naha city had also been shut down, news reports said.

    About 17,500 homes in Okinawa and 58,300 homes in Kagoshima prefecture, just south of the Japanese mainland, were hit by blackouts, according to local officials.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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