AP News

Typhoon batters 2 Koreas after drenching Japan


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A powerful typhoon lashed North and South Korea with strong wind and heavy rain Monday, killing at least one person, leaving dozens of others homeless and cutting power to many homes and businesses in the South.

In North Korea, rain drenched parts of the country, including the eastern coastal city of Wonsan, but did not reach the capital, Pyongyang, which was windy Monday but was spared the heavy rains that lashed the South Korean capital.

Typhoon Sanba, which battered southern South Korea around midday Monday, was pushing northward and expected to move into eastern waters later in the day.

Sanba knocked out power to about 26,900 homes and shops in South Korea, the state-run National Emergency Management Agency said. The storm also forced cancelations of about 330 flights and 170 ferries, it said. Huge waves battered the southern coast.

A 50-year-old woman died in a landslide in southeastern South Korea, and another woman was injured in a separate landslide, agency officials said. More than 170 people were left homeless, they said.

Before reaching South Korea, the storm hit Japan. About 67,000 homes in southwestern Japan lost power and some areas flooded. A man drowned Sunday while swimming in high waves off the southern Japanese island of Ishigaki, according to the coast guard.

In North Korea, which reported heavy casualties from another powerful typhoon last month, any heavy rain is a worry. There weren't any immediate official reports about whether Monday's typhoon caused any injuries or damage.

State media said that storm, Typhoon Bolaven, killed 59 people and left 50 missing and 26,320 homeless. About 51,600 hectares (127,500 acres) of farmland were flooded, buried or washed away, the official Korean Central News Agency said Friday.

North Korea also suffered flooding and drought earlier this year. There are worries about how the country's farms will handle the severe weather. The United Nations said in June that two-thirds of the country's 24 million people were grappling with chronic food shortages.

Typhoon Bolaven left 15 dead and five missing in South Korea. Another typhoon hit the peninsula shortly after Bolaven, but it didn't cause any deaths in South Korea. North Korea also suffered little damage. It's not unusual for three typhoons to hit the Korean Peninsula in such a short time, according to the Korean Meteorological Administration.

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Associated Press writer Jean H. Lee in Pyongyang, North Korea, contributed to this report.


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