Typhoon Haishen battered southwestern Japan on Sunday, washing away homes and leaving four people missing, as it passed over the island, and began pounding the Korean Peninsula on Monday.
Second major storm in a week
Haishen is the second major typhoon to strike the region in less than a week, after previously being pounded by Typhoon Maysak on Wednesday.
Typhoon Haishen slams Japan, millions told to seek shelter
Typhoon Haishen hammered the Japanese island of Kyushu on Sunday with wind speeds of nearly 121 mph. As homes were washed into a river in southwestern Japan, one man was rescued, but three other men and one woman remain missing, according to authorities in Kyushu’s Miyazaki prefecture, who are still searching for the missing people, CNN reported on Monday.
At least 46 people were injured and at least 253,530 people are without electricity, according to provider Kyushu Electric.
As the storm approached Japan, the weather agency urged people to exercise “most serious caution,” Abs-Cbn News reported.
“Record-level rainfall is expected,” the Japan Meteorological Agency warned residents. “It may cause landslides or it could cause even large rivers to flood.”
Authorities warned that searching tides could cause widespread flooding, particularly in low-lying areas such as around rivers. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that flooding and landslides were a possibility during an emergency cabinet meeting.
“Maximum caution is needed as record rain, violent winds, high waves and high tides are possible,” Abe said. “I ask the Japanese people, including those who live in high-risk areas for flooding rivers or high tides, to stay informed and take action immediately to ensure their safety.”
Authorities in Japan issued evacuation orders for 1.8 million people living in the affected area, as well as, issuing lower-level advisories as 5.6 million people, although none of the orders are mandatory.
Typhoon Haishen pounding Korean Peninsula
Typhoon Haishen weakened slightly, to the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane in the Atlantic, with winds of 99 miles per hour. The storm is projected to strike North Korea late on Monday as well.
According to South Korea’s Ministry of the Interior and Safety, at least 1,640 South Koreans have been evacuated so far. As of Monday morning, at least 23,500 homes were without electricity as strong winds knocked out power in South Korea’s eastern North Gyeongsang province.
The fierce winds also flipped cars. The storm also caused turbine generators in two nuclear power plants to automatically shut down, which is still under investigation.