Powerful typhoon causes minor injuries, damage in South Korea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A powerful typhoon battered southern South Korea, injuring 30 people and knocking out power to about 27,790 houses, officials said yesterday.

Typhoon Tapah earlier lashed parts of Japan’s southern islands with heavy rain and strong winds that caused flooding and some minor injuries.

South Korea’s Interior Ministry said yesterday the typhoon also brought strong winds and heavy rainfall to southern South Korean cities and towns last Sunday and yesterday. The storm did not make landfall on the Korean Peninsula as it moved northeast and dissipated, South Korean weather officials said.

Japan’s meteorological agency earlier said the typhoon had weakened and was downgraded to a tropical storm with surface winds up to 90 kilometres per hour.

The South Korean Interior Ministry said one person was hurt seriously and the 29 others had minor injuries. Some South Korean media had reported three deaths, but the ministry said none of them were caused by the typhoon.

The storm flooded streets, damaged houses and led to about 250 flight cancellations at 11 airports in South Korea, according to the ministry report.

South Korean weather officials said the typhoon likely caused light rain in eastern coastal towns in North Korea but will not likely cause damage there. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency did not immediately publish any report on the typhoon.

Typhoon Tapah hit the southern Japanese island of Okinawa last Friday and Saturday, leaving 18 people with minor injuries. The storm disrupted air and train travel in Japan during a three-day holiday weekend.

A yacht is pushed ashore by strong winds and high waves at a beach as Typhoon Tapah approaches in Ulsan, South Korea. PHOTO: AP