Flights grounded in South Korea as Typhoon Hinnamnor nears

On Monday, as Typhoon Hinnamor, the biggest storm in decades, neared South Korea's southern area with severe rains and winds of up to 290 kilometres per hour (180 miles per hour), hundreds of aircraft were cancelled and more than 200 people were evacuated.

SEOUL, South Korea 

The biggest storm to hit the planet this year, Hinnamnor, is expected to skim the southern tourist island of Jeju before making landfall close to the mainland city of Busan early on Tuesday, according to South Korea's weather agency.

Government representatives expressed alarm about the possibly enormous damage from landslides, tidal waves, and flooding. At a Monday emergency response meeting, President Yoon Suk Yeol emphasised the importance of making every effort to limit casualties. The Prime Minister of South Korea, Han Duk-soo, urged for aggressive measures to evacuate inhabitants from flood-prone areas.

Hinnamnor was 290 kilometres (180 miles) southwest of Jeju as of Monday afternoon. Since Sunday, it has dropped 46 centimetres (18 inches) of rain in the centre of Jeju, where winds have been gusting as high as 124 kph (77 mph).

According to the Interior and Safety Ministry of South Korea, no casualties have been reported as of yet. In Jeju, at least 11 homes and structures were flooded, while more than 200 people had to leave Busan and the surrounding areas due to safety concerns.

As of Monday afternoon, more than 360 domestic flights and 66 ferry services were cancelled nationally, while thousands of fishing boats were making their way back to port. Officials said that all schools in Busan and the surrounding southern regions would be shuttered on Tuesday and switch to online instruction.

As Hinnamnor swept through the area on Sunday, cities in eastern China ceased ferry services and educational activities, and more than 100 flights were cancelled in Japan.

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