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Typhoon Ewiniar to Hit Korea July 9

Posted July. 10, 2006 03:03,   


Although it still did not land in the Korean Peninsula, typhoon Ewiniar is already causing damage. On July 9, in Yeongnam region, which encompasses Daegu and Gyeongbuk Province, seven people were killed or went missing, including an 80-year-old man who was swept away and killed by surging water levels causing by torrential rains. With Ewiniar expected to reach Jeju Island by the night of July 9, the entire country is under typhoon alert.

Rain Damage All Across the Country—

With the seasonal rain front, which was pushed by the typhoon, overlapping with typhoon winds, on the morning of July 9, it rained up to 140mm, and 40 to 50 mm per hour for some regions of Gyeongnam and Gyeongbuk Province. Damage caused by the heavy rains also increased.

On the morning of July 9, around 7:54 a.m. Mr. Kwon, 57, who was checking for rain damage at the construction site of an apartment in Yangsan City, Gyeongnam Province, was killed when he fell inside a puddle in the construction ground. In Changnyeong-gun, at 12:31 p.m. Mr. Choi, 72, working on the drainage of his cattle stable, fell unconscious and was moved to a hospital but failed to be revived.

Accidents were also frequent on the rainy roads. Around 8:00 a.m. the car being driven by Mr. Yoo, 27, slipped in front of Military Daegu Hospital, Gyeongsan City, Gyeongbuk Province, crashed against the crash barrier and fell five meters below to a rail track. Yoo was killed when a commuter train going from Pohang to Daegu hit his car.

There were also damages caused by inundation and landslides.

About three hectares of farmland were inundated in Daesan-myun, Gyeongnam Province, while a dike in Gusan-myun, Masan, burst flooding farmland and houses. In Yeosu, Jeonnam Province, parts of underground shops of Hyundai apartments were submerged so the fire engines had to be deployed in order to conduct emergency drainage work.

A landslide occurred in a hill of Bulmo Mountain, Changwon, Gyeongnam Province, where about 70 tons of mud poured down. In Taebaek-dong, Jinhae, a boulder measuring about 1.5 meters fell from a hill into a two-lane road, closing down one of the lanes. The majority of the 36 flights from Ulsan Airport to Seoul and Jeju were cancelled.

Near the Center of Typhoon, Gusts Move 35 Meters Per Second—

The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) announced, “As of July 9, 3:00 p.m., Ewiniar was approaching 450 km south of Seogwipo, Jeju, and is moving northward at speeds of 30kmph. Although its path is liable to change, gusts will be blowing through the entire country on July 10.”

Wind speed near the eye of Ewiniar approach 35 meters per second, or 123kmph, and waves are rising up to 8 to 12 meters in the seas. The central pressure of the typhoon is 965 hPa, which is almost on par with typhoon Rusa’s 950 hPa, the infamous typhoon that wreaked havoc in Korea in 2002.

KMA forecasted, “By 3:00 p.m. on July 10, the typhoon will approach the West Sea 110km west-northwest of Mokpo, and on July 11 at 3:00 p.m. it will reach 150km northeast of Baekryong Island, by which time the entire country will be under the influence of the typhoon.”

Hence KMA predicted that Jeju, already under the direct influence of the typhoon by the night of July 9, and the South Sea coast would have torrential rains accompanied by strong winds until July 10.

In particular, since the Korean Peninsula is located on the right of the typhoon’s path, it is expected that strong rainy winds will prevail, and the West and South Sea coastal regions are in high danger of flooding. Typhoons whirl counterclockwise and that is why the half-circle on the right side of the typhoon’s path is called a “dangerous half-circle.”

Government Workers on Emergency Duty—

On July 9, Cheong Wa Dae held an emergency meeting chaired by Presidential Chief of Staff Lee Byung-wan to prepare against the landing of typhoon Ewiniar and checked the current situation of the typhoon as well as the preparedness state of government ministries and local governments.

Cheong Wa Dae concerned with the overlap of the rainy season and the typhoon, which might increase heavy rain damage, and the possible poor readiness state of local governments due to the transition of local government heads, decided to raise the emergency duty posture of government workers including the heads of administrative branches.

On the same day, Minister of Defense Yoon Kwang-ung ordered to the armed forces to be thoroughly prepared against the typhoon in order to prevent the loss of lives and equipment.

Accordingly, the branches of the armed forces ordered to its subordinate units to take safety precautions while on field exercises to prevent accidents, and to reschedule or cancel training outside the unit until the typhoon is over, unless is absolutely necessary.

The Ministry of National Defense also stated that military equipment such as navy patrol vessels and air force aircraft had been moved to safe areas, and created a 1,500-man task force, from about 20 units, to conduct search and rescue operations.

A military official commented, “The military units will maintain a coordination system with respective local governments, and in the West and South Sea coastal region where inundation caused by storms and high waves are expected, the military will actively cooperate with coast guard and police to prevent accidents.”