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Posted : 2012-07-19 10:46
Updated : 2012-07-19 10:46

Typhoon Khanun passes central Korea, causing damage

An elderly woman was killed and hundreds of flights were grounded as Typhoon Khanun veered north to pass through South Korea's capital city of Seoul on Thursday.

Khanun, the first tropical storm of the year spawned in the West Pacific, was headed northeast from 20 kilometers off the country's western city of Seosan toward Seoul as of 6 a.m., according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA).

Khanun, meaning "jack fruit" in Thai, is expected to reach North Korea as of 3 p.m. and move to its eastern coast, according to the weather agency.

As the typhoon made its way to the central region along the west coast from Korea's southern resort island of Jeju, heavy rains and gales caused parts of a house to collapse in North Gyeongsang Province, killing the 83-year-old inhabitant.

Two international flights linking Incheon to Manila were canceled as of 8.30 a.m., according to Incheon International Airport. From Wednesday, some 90 flights scheduled for Jeju and the southern city of Pohang, as well as 115 ferry trips for the southern islands were canceled, according to transportation officials.

"Delays in departure and arrival of flights are expected to continue through the morning," an airport official said.

Traffic jams caused inconvenience to commuters in Seoul and surrounding areas, as downpours and the subsequent flooding of streets forced them to be shut down.

Battering the southern part of the country overnight from late Wednesday, the storm temporarily left some 26,000 households without electricity and caused 13 million won ($11,420) in damages, according to the Korea Electric Power Corp.

The typhoon had deposited 97.5 millimeters of rain in Suncheon, South Jeolla Province, 53.4 millimeters in Jeju and 37.5 millimeters in Seoul as of 6 a.m., the weather office said.

To control the water level, North Korea has been discharging water from its Hwangang Dam, located near the border with the South, since Wednesday noon, prompting South Korean campers to evacuate. No damages from the water release have been reported so far.

Some schools in Gyeonggi Province also delayed the start of classes by up to one hour, the Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education said. (Yonhap)

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