SEOUL, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Typhoon Bolaven, a massive package of fury, hit South Korea's Jeju Island Tuesday, knocking out power and leaving 28 Chinese fishermen missing, officials said.
The storm, churning extremely high winds and rains, concentrated on South Korea Tuesday after pounding Japan's southern Okinawa Island Sunday. The storm's intensity was so strong to turn Typhoon Tembin around back toward Taiwan as the latter was leaving the island nation after causing much damage.
On South Korea's southern island of Jeju, Bolaven's high winds and torrential rains cut off power to more than 33,000 households, knocked down trees and utility lines, and caused numerous flight cancellations, Yonhap News Agency reported, quoting the National Emergency Management Agency.
China's Xinhua news agency reported two Chinese fishing boats with 34 crew members aboard capsized about 2:40 a.m. Tuesday in waters just off the Jeju port, blamed on gale force winds and high waves.
Yonhap said six of the fishermen were later rescued but the fate of the other 28 was not immediately known, although search efforts were continuing.
Xinhua reported one of the rescued suffered serious injuries and had been hospitalized.
The storm also destroyed seven apartment complexes in South Jeolla province and Jeju Island, while another five apartment buildings on Jeju Island were flooded, Yonhap reported. A church steeple had been toppled.
Forecasters Tuesday morning issued a typhoon warning for Seoul, upgraded from an earlier typhoon advisory as the storm was expected to pass Incheon Port, west of the capital, later in the afternoon, Yonhap said. The capital area is home to about 10 million people.
All elementary and secondary schools in Seoul remained closed. Several flights at Seoul's Gimpo Airport were canceled for the day.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was holding video conference meetings with emergency officials and had instructed local governments to take all precautionary steps, officials said.
The Chosun Ilbo newspaper said Bolaven threatened to become the most devastating storm in a decade as it was expected to impact the entire country.
In 2002, Typhoon Rusa reportedly killed at least 246 people and caused about $5.5 billion of damage in South Korea.
In Okinawa, CNN reported Bolaven had been designated as a "super typhoon," with a cloud field of 1,250 miles, or 20 times larger than the island, and packing wind speeds of up to 115 miles per hour. However, the region escaped relatively without much damage. Five people were injured.
The Taipei Times said Typhoon Tembin, turned around by the force of Bolaven, was expected to make landfall in southern Taiwan Tuesday. The storm had caused much damage last week before exiting.
Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau said Tembin picked up speed Monday as it again headed south, threatening residents in several regions that were placed under alert. The bureau also said Taiwan's east and north regions would experience heavy rains as the typhoon passed.
Chinese forecasters, meanwhile, said Typhoon Bolaven could reach northeast Liaoning province later Tuesday and also affect North Korea.
Bolaven also was expected to bring strong winds and rainstorms to China's eastern provinces of Shandong and Jiangsu as well as the city of Shanghai, China Daily reported. Evacuations were under way in some of the regions.
|Additional World News Stories|
TAIPEI, Taiwan, May 20 (UPI) --An investigation into the killing by the Philippines coast guard of a Taiwanese fisherman is focusing on whether rules of engagement were broken.
WASHINGTON, May 19 (UPI) --Television actress Christine White has died in Washington, her representatives announced. She was 86.
TOKYO, May 20 (UPI) --The Japanese economy is picking up slowly, the Cabinet Office said Monday in its upwardly revised May monthly assessment report.
ATLANTA, May 19 (UPI) --A man and his son graduated together from Morehouse College in Georgia Sunday, with the son saying he is "proud of [his dad] as a man" for going back to school.