Powerful typhoon Chanthu, the 14th typhoon of this season, is forecast to directly affect the Korean Peninsula. Notably, there is a possibility that the typhoon will make landfall in the country during the Chuseok (Korean thanksgiving) holiday, elevating concern over possible damage.
According to the Korean Meteorological Administration on Sunday, Chanthu passed waters some 80 kilometers northeast of Taipei, Taiwan as of 3 p.m. Sunday. Chanthu developed to a ‘super typhoon’ class at one point, and has weakened a bit since. However, it is still a very powerful typhoon with an atmospheric pressure of 935 hectopascal at its core and gusty winds of up to 50 meters per second. If Chanthu follows the current forecast, it will be stagnant in waters off Shanghai, China for a while through Thursday, before switching its path suddenly to east to be heading to South Korea. The typhoon is forecast to reach waters some 50 kilometers northwest of Jeju Island on Friday afternoon.
Jeju, which was put under the typhoon’s influence from Sunday afternoon, will see torrential rain of up to 500 kilometers through Wednesday. Heavy rain is forecast also in coastal regions in South Jeolla and South Gyeongsang provinces from Thursday. Some areas in Jeju and coastal areas in South Jeolla will face gusty winds of 35 to 50 kilometers per hour from Monday, requiring residents to use extra caution for their safety.
Chanthu’s trajectory and speed are still uncertain, and the timing when the typhoon will start to affect the Korean Peninsula could be advanced or delayed by one or two days. According to the current forecast, the typhoon could pass through the southern waters or inland areas in South Korea, causing concern over possible massive damage it may cause right before the Chuseok holiday. However, weathermen say the typhoon will lose its strength further from now when it makes landfall in the peninsula.
“It is quite unusual that a very powerful typhoon like Chanthu is forecast to stay immobile for a while before moving west,” KMA said. “The exact forecast on the typhoon’s trajectory and strength will be made on Thursday.”