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Korea braces for double typhoon hit

Giant waves break over a sea wall protecting Cheju island's fishing port
Giant waves break over a sea wall protecting Cheju island's fishing port  


Staff and wires

HONG KONG, China -- Typhoon Rammasun roared towards the Korean peninsula, leaving one South Korean drowned in its wake, while typhoon Chata'an followed fast behind, gathering force near Guam.

As South Korea's capital Seoul battened down against expected torrential rains and strong winds this weekend from Rammasun, the South Korean Meteorological Administration predicted typhoon Chata'an could be next to hit the peninsula.

The two major systems are weaving a path of destruction across the region as the Pacific typhoon season kicks off with a vengeance.

Flights were disrupted across the region. Chinese state television said more than 200 flights from Shanghai's Pudong International Airport were cancelled Thursday.

South Korea's main carrier Korean Air was forced to cancel 149 domestic and 18 international flights on Friday.

Meanwhile South Korean police reported a 35-year-old man swept away by seas early on Friday as he walked the shore of Cheju island, a major holiday resort. He was presumed dead.

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Rammasun -- or God of Thunder in Thai -- earlier unleashed fierce winds and rain across the east China coast, with winds topping 130 kilometers (80 miles) per hour, but fell short of causing any of the major damage widely feared.

Five people were killed and 44 injured when temporary housing for workers near a construction site in Shanghai collapsed, Reuters news agency quoted Chinese state television as saying.

But although the typhoon was dumping heavy rain, there were no immediate reports of major damage. Instead, a forecaster at the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau told Reuters the worst was over.

Micronesia havoc

Typhoon
The death toll from Typhoon Chata'an is expected to rise  

Chinese officials had feared that if Rammasun headed inland it would add to devastating floods that have already claimed the lives of at least 600 people since May in eastern and southern China.

But the eye of the storm had not come closer than 200 kilometers (125 miles) from China's coast.

Typhoon Chata'an earlier wrought havoc through the sparsely populated, low-lying atoll nations of Micronesia, with as many as 39 people feared killed by floods and mudslides.

Hardest hit was the atoll of Chuuk -- formerly the Caroline Islands -- where dozens of people were buried by more than 30 mudslides triggered by the fierce winds and rains.

The atoll has appealed for international aid in the wake of the typhoon.

The South Korean Meteorological Administration said Rammasun is expected to pass beside the southernmost Cheju island and head toward the north along the west coast of South Korea.



 
 
 
 







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