On Thursday, a powerful typhoon, Maysak, hit South Korea and killed at least two people. Trees and phone lines were downed all along the East and Southern coasts. The peninsula, which is no stranger to Pacific typhoons, has seen an uncommonly high number of storms this year. Maysak was the fourth typhoon to hit South Korea this season, and the second in a month.
Now another typhoon, Haishen, could be on track to hit the peninsula. Meteorologists expect Haishen to pass through southern Japan before impacting South Korea. Some have even speculated that Haishen could strengthen over the weekend and become a “super typhoon.”
Maysak Batters Korea
An estimated 2,400 South Koreans evacuated their homes as typhoon Maysak bore down on the country. The typhoon brought a huge storm surge along with it and washed away homes, buildings, and vehicles.
On Thursday, Maysak had knocked out power to some 270,000 homes, and over 850 properties had been damaged by it.
Tragically, at least 17 homes were completely destroyed by the storm. Moreover, four nuclear reactors near Busan shut down due to electricity supply issues. Thankfully, there have been no reports of radioactive leaks.
Typhoon landfalls always carry the risk of triggering nuclear meltdowns in countries like South Korea and Japan, where nuclear facilities have to be near the coast due to the countries’ geographies.
Japanese Rescue Effort Continues
Meanwhile, the Japanese Coast Guard continues searching for a livestock vessel that sank on Wednesday due to the rough conditions on the water. Maysak caused massive waves and choppy seas that sank the vessel, which was carrying 42 crew members.
A rescued Filipino crew member told the Coast Guard the vessel capsized before sinking. The boat sank in the East China Sea, south of Japan. At the time it sank, it was carrying around 5,800 cows.
Meanwhile, the region braces for Typhoon Haishen. The storm could still gather significant power as it moves along the warm waters of the East China Sea. Storms like Haishen might not be called hurricanes, but they’re functionally identical to the Atlantic hurricanes seen in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.
Much like hurricanes, typhoons are fueled by warm ocean water, headwinds that cause spin, and massive ocean storms. As the storms form over the ocean, the moisture from the warm water grants them size and power.
This has led meteorologists to fear that Haishen could impact the already-battered region of South Korea as a massive “super typhoon”.