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Saturday 21 September 2019

Typhoon Lingling kills five in North Korea and three in South

The storm left South Korea relatively unscathed but battered North Korea from 2pm on Saturday to midnight on Sunday.

A fallen tree caused by Typhoon Lingling lies across a walkway in Seoul, South Korea (Ahn Young-joon/AP)
A fallen tree caused by Typhoon Lingling lies across a walkway in Seoul, South Korea (Ahn Young-joon/AP)

By Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press

One of the most powerful typhoons to ever hit the Korean Peninsula has left five people dead and three injured in North Korea, state media reported on Sunday.

It was the first public announcement of casualties since Typhoon Lingling made landfall in the country a day earlier.

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A vehicle damaged by a sign that fell from a building as Typhoon Lingling brought strong wind and rain to Seoul, South Korea (Ryu Hyung-suck/Yonhap/AP)

Before reaching North Korea, the storm hit South Korea, killing three people and injuring 13 others, though the country appears to have escaped widespread damage.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, said the typhoon left 460 houses and 15 public buildings destroyed, damaged or flooded in the country. It said 46,200 hectares of farmland were buried or flooded.

KCNA said the typhoon battered North Korea from 2pm on Saturday to midnight on Sunday. Recovery work was under way in devastated areas, it said.

Outside observers said rainstorms could be a catastrophe in impoverished North Korea because of poor drainage, deforestation and decrepit infrastructure.

South Korean media said North Korea could eventually report more typhoon-related casualties and damage.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attended an emergency meeting to discuss disaster prevention efforts against Typhoon Lingling (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/AP)

According to a previous KCNA dispatch, leader Kim Jong Un “urgently convened” an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss disaster prevention efforts.

He also condemned government officials whom he described as “helpless against the typhoon, unaware of its seriousness and seized with easygoing sentiment”.

South Korean weather officials said the typhoon had weakened when it moved through North Korea. They said the storm was moving near Vladivostok in Russia on Sunday morning.

South Korea’s interior ministry said earlier on Sunday that it was reviewing the damage from the typhoon and engaging in recovery work.

The storm damaged buildings and knocked out power to about 161,640 homes in South Korea.

Typhoons that made landfall in South Korea in recent years caused greater damage and more casualties.

PA Media

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