Typhoon Kong-Rey set to hit South Korea and Japan
News of Typhoon Kong-Rey has been circling for the past few days as media around the world follow its journey towards South Korea and Japan. The storm first hit the Ryukyu Islands with some heavy rainfall and strong winds earlier this week, but as it travels north, experts have predicted that South Korea will bear the brunt of it.
South Korea is expected to be hit hard with winds that are equal in strength to a Category 1 hurricane in the next day. Once the typhoon turns north, Jeju will be in its path, and then it should be travelling across the coastline of South Korean. Predictions have warned that South Korean may experience wind speeds ranging from 62mph to 78mph, at least. Some of the areas that are due to be affected include Yeosu, Busan, Ulsan, and Pohang.
Kong-Rey has been predicted to have several impacts on the areas it visits, including flooding, damaging winds, dangerous seas, and mudslides. There may be flooding on Saturday night throughout South Korea as the storm is due to bring up to 8-inches of rainfall.
As the storm moves towards Japan, the strong weather will have calmed down; bringing only 1-inch of rain to the island nation. It is possible, however, that Kyushu and Shikoku may get up to 4-inches of rain over the weekend.
On Sunday, Kong-Rey will weaken even further as it tracks over Hokkaido. Hokkaido and its residents have already suffered from a recent 5.2-magnitude earthquake recently, but it seems that more flooding and harsh winds are on the way. Forecasters do not know if Kong-Rey will hit Japan’s mainland, but if the storm does make landfall, it will be the 9th tropical storm to do so this year, alone.
The record for typhoons that have reached landfall in a single season is 10, which happened in 2004. Since Japan has been hit by numerous tropical systems, along with the flooding and heat waves, Kong-Rey could also put additional strain on the nation’s disaster recovery budget.
As for travel advice, residents have already started to be evacuated to emergency shelters. Approximately 10,000 homes in Okinawa are without power due to the backlash from the storm, and heavy downpours are affecting parts of Kyushu and Shikoku. Weather officials are warning people to watch out for rain storms, strong winds, high waves, mudslides, and floods.
Airlines have announced the cancellation of more than 100 domestic flights to and from Okinawa, and most ferry services in the region have been suspended. This is just the start of what defences Japan will bring in the face of storm Kong-Rey.
Anyone seeking to travel to South Korea or Japan over the weekend or in the next few coming days is warned to seek advice from their tour operators, accommodation, and airlines. Check that your travel hasn’t been disrupted or cancelled and consider re-booking for a time when the damage has been cleared. For those already in areas affected, heed the advice of local authorities and stay safe.
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