South Korea was hit by torrential rain and strong winds on Tuesday, but it avoided the massive devastation many feared from Typhoon Hinnamnor, one of the most powerful storms that reached its shores, and made its way out to sea faster than meteorologists expected.
By Tuesday afternoon, two people were reported dead and ten missing, according to authorities. Property damage across the country appears to be limited. Isolated – albeit severe – floods occurred, trees fell, street lamps shattered, and about 66,000 homes lost power.
Chung Tae Song, a flood expert at the National Disaster Management Research Institute, a government agency, said that Deadly floods that hit South Korea last month It made both the public and the authorities more attuned to the dangers of a major storm.
“Compared to in the past, we did a lot more preparation before this hurricane, suspending schools, delaying the work day, closing roads – and simply spreading the word,” he said.
But the storm itself, though powerful, did not leave as much damage as was feared. When its eye reached the south coast at 4:50 a.m., Hinnamnor had maximum sustained winds of 89 miles per hour — making it the eighth strongest typhoon in South Korean history, by this scale, but not the strongest it has ever reached.
It crossed the country’s southeastern corner faster than expected, and slid back into the sea by 7:10 a.m., bringing heavy winds and rain over the country for a shorter period of time than forecasters had feared.
By late afternoon, Hinnamnor was about 270 miles off the east coast of South Korea and continuing in a northeast direction. The Korea Meteorological Service said it was expected to pass about 240 miles northwest of Sapporo, Japan, around 9 p.m. Tuesday.
The record-breaking deluge that struck South Korea a month ago killed 15 people across the country, including a A family of three drowned In their semi-underground apartment. President Yoon Seok Yeol, who has been criticized for his response, promised to take measures to prevent a recurrence. As Hinnamnor approached, the government focused heavily on the need to evacuate. It sent out 412 mobile hurricane-related safety alerts, including evacuation orders, in various areas during a five-day period.
Authorities said more than 14,000 people have left their homes under government orders to evacuate high-risk areas. After the typhoon made landfall, about 3,500 additional people were evacuated, according to the Department of Home Affairs and Safety. Over the weekend, the government issued its most urgent hurricane warning, the highest it has sent in five years.
Forecasters have warned that Hinnamore’s strength may be comparable to that of two devastating hurricanes from two decades ago, Rosa and Maimi. in 2002, hurricane rosa It swept through South Korea, leaving dozens dead and over a million homes destroyed. the following year, Hurricane Maemi It killed more than 100 people and caused $1.6 billion in damage.
The terms hurricane and hurricane refer to tropical cyclones It is applied to storms Depending on where you grew up. Hurricanes develop in the Pacific Northwest and usually affect Asia. Hurricanes form in the North Atlantic, Northeast Pacific, Caribbean Sea, or Gulf of Mexico.
in the Atlantic Ocean, major hurricanes They are defined as tropical cyclones with maximum sustainable winds of 111 mph or higher, and are defined as either Category 3, 4, and 5 storms. But in the Asia Pacific region, there are differences in how countries classify cyclones.
The links between tropical storms and climate change are become clearer. The researchers found that warming increased the frequency of major storms because a warmer ocean provided more energy that fuels them.
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