Bolaven leaves at least 16 dead as it plows past Korean Peninsula

Fishermen drown during Typhoon Bolaven
Fishermen drown during Typhoon Bolaven


    Fishermen drown during Typhoon Bolaven


Fishermen drown during Typhoon Bolaven 01:11

Story highlights

  • The powerful storm kills people in the sea and on land in South Korea
  • Bolaven weakens to tropical storm before hitting North Korea, China
  • The search is still on for missing Chinese fishermen
  • The storm cuts power in hundreds of thousands of households in South Korea

Tropical Storm Bolaven, once a massive typhoon, left at least 16 people dead in South Korea after pummeling the country with heavy wind and rain as it moved along its coast, the authorities said Wednesday.

The storm had weakened as it traveled north over the cooler waters of the Yellow Sea before making landfall in North Korea and China on Tuesday.

Six Chinese fishermen died and nine remained missing after two boats capsized in stormy waters near Jeju Island, off the southern tip of the South Korean mainland, the maritime police said. The search for those still unaccounted for continued Wednesday.

The South Korean Central Disaster Relief Headquarters said that another 10 people had been killed in other accidents caused by the storm and that two people had been injured.

Forecasters predicted Bolaven would move north-northeast through North Korea and decrease in strength over land Wednesday.

Riding out typhoon in Okinawa
Riding out typhoon in Okinawa


    Riding out typhoon in Okinawa


Riding out typhoon in Okinawa 02:26
Typhoon makes landfall in Taiwan
Typhoon makes landfall in Taiwan


    Typhoon makes landfall in Taiwan


Typhoon makes landfall in Taiwan 02:10

The powerful storm disrupted transport, cut off power and damaged property in South Korea. Hundreds of thousands of households lost power during the storm's passage, the disaster agency said. By Wednesday, 34,000 remained without electricity.

The storm prompted the cancellation of scores of flights, the suspension of nearly 100 ferry routes and the temporary closure of 27 roads, according to the agency. Sixteen roads were still closed on Wednesday morning.

Bolaven lashed North Korea with heavy wind and rain, the reclusive state's official Korean Central News Agency said in a report early Wednesday. It gave detailed data on wind strength, rainfall and storm surges but didn't provide information on the damage caused.

Okinawa, meanwhile, emerged relatively unscathed Monday after the typhoon buffeted it with maximum sustained winds near its center of 185 kph (115 mph), according to the Hong Kong Observatory, which monitors storms in the region.

That wind strength put Bolaven in the "super typhoon" category at the time. And with a cloud field of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), it was 20 times larger than Okinawa's length.

Okinawa, which is in an area of the western Pacific Ocean where typhoons are frequent, avoided the kind of destruction that some other storms have caused in East Asia this summer.

Five people were injured on the island, the local authorities said, and 549 residents took shelter in public buildings to avoid potential damage to their homes. About 17,500 households lost electricity as the storm damaged power lines.

Storm chaser James Reynolds was on the northwestern coast of the island during the worst of the typhoon.

"Like the rest of the population we all just kind of holed up in the strong and sturdy buildings which make up Okinawa," he said Monday.

The infrastructure on Okinawa is designed to withstand violent storms. "Everything's made of solid concrete," Reynolds said.

The damage was also limited because Bolaven didn't bring winds as powerful as initially feared, said Morichiyo Ohshiro, an official from the Okinawa Prefecture Disaster Prevention and Crisis Management Division.

Typhoon Tembin, which made landfall in southern Taiwan a few days ago, has circled back around and is now also on a path taking it toward the Koreas. Smaller than Bolaven, it is expected to bring more rain to the Korean Peninsula starting Wednesday evening.

As Category 1 hurricane, Isaac makes landfall in Louisiana

Time: Most destructive U.S. hurricanes

Photos: Finding beauty in violent storms

      Hurricane season 2012

    • The storm that broke records, and hearts

      A mother learns that her newborn is part of a hospital evacuation. Facebook posts from a member of the HMS Bounty turn ominous. A man worries about the wind and rain, but another force of nature hits home.
    • In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, a storm that ripped so much apart, people have come together to provide help and hope.

      In Sandy's wake, help comes in unexpected ways

      Tourists become volunteer rescue workers. The connected provide power outlets and Wi-Fi. Performers lift spirits. Photographers preserve images. Doctors work overtime to keep hospitals running and patients alive.
    • Despite a mangled phone screen, volunteer Candice Osborne is able to quickly respond to the needs of Superstorm Sandy victims with the help of social media.

      Social media make helping personal

      It has been in operation only since October 30, but the Facebook page for "Giving back to those affected by Sandy" has a longer timeline than most Facebook members.
    • Steph Goralnick

      Let's not forget Superstorm Sandy's victims

      It's important to remember that even as the effect of Superstorm Sandy recedes from the news, there are still devastated areas that are without electricity, heat or hot water.
    • Americares volunteers help clean out flood damaged homes in Queens, New York during Operation "Muck-Out"

      Volunteers help Sandy victims start over

      Our AmeriCares "Operation Muck-Out" team immediately got to work, ripping out the interior walls and removing the insulation until only wooden beams were standing.
    • exp point harlow murray sandy_00013211

      Trying to keep the family business afloat

      Ashley Murray became the first female president of Liberty Industrial Gases and Welding Supplies Inc. in Brooklyn. But now the family history Murray was charged with preserving is at risk of ending after Superstorm Sandy.
    • Jeannette Van Houten and other residents of Union Beach, New Jersey, have found family photos such as this one scattered after Superstorms Sandy. They want to return them to their rightful owners.

      Finding joy among the wreckage

      The adage says "a picture is worth a thousand words," but when Leeann Lewandowski happened upon a photograph of her late mother on Facebook after her home was destroyed in Superstorm Sandy, she was speechless.