Typhoon kills 5 South Koreans

Last Updated: Friday, September 3, 2010 - 09:16

Seoul: The death toll from Typhoon Kompasu, which battered the Korean peninsula with strong winds and heavy rains, rose to five in South Korea, an official said on Friday.

The typhoon struck Seoul the day before, toppling trees, streetlights and scaffolding in what was called the strongest storm to hit the capital area in 15 years.

Powerful gusts knocked over power lines, cutting off electricity to tens of thousands of homes and forcing airports to cancel or delay more than 60 international flights, the National Emergency Management Agency said.

Authorities later resumed service on flights, Seoul subway lines and five railway routes, emergency officials said.

Streets in Seoul were littered with tree branches. Some parked cars were wrecked by construction scaffolding knocked over by the storm.

An 80-year-old man died after being hit by a roof tile and a 37-year-old businessman was killed by a falling tree branch on his way to work. Three other people were also killed in similar typhoon-related incidents later on Thursday, NEMA official Shin Seok-soon said on Friday.

Elementary and middle schools in the capital were ordered to delay the start of classes by two hours, while all public and private kindergartens were closed on Thursday, the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education said.

The storm caused at least 10 billion won (USD 8.3 million) in damage to a sports stadium in Incheon, west of Seoul, stadium officials said.

Power was out at more than 60,000 homes along South Korea`s west coast before being back on in nearly all residences, officials said.

Kompasu, the Japanese word for "compass”, landed on Ganghwa Island, about 40 miles (70 kilometres) west of Seoul before leaving the Korean peninsula on Thursday, said officials.

The typhoon also caused torrential rains and heavy gusts throughout North Korea, the country`s state media reported. It didn`t say whether there were any fatalities or provide damage estimates.

Last month, floods swamped farmland, houses and public buildings in North Korea`s northwestern city of Sinuiju and adjacent areas and displaced more than 23,000 people, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Earlier this week, South Korea`s Red Cross offered North Korea relief aid worth 10 billion won.

Bureau Report



First Published: Friday, September 3, 2010 - 09:16

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