Typhoon Kompasu batters Seoul and west coastal areas

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Typhoon Kompasu batters Seoul and west coastal areas


08시 00분 태풍 위성 사진

Typhoon Kompasu struck central South Korea early Thursday morning, bringing downpours and gusts that paralyzed metro operations in the Seoul metropolitan area, caused massive power outages along the west coast and forced airlines to cancel or divert domestic and international flights.

With almost all above-ground sections of Seoul's subway lines out of service, trees knocked down and winds blowing at a speed of about 30 meters per second, drivers, commuters and students were forced to undergo the worst transportation chaos in a decade.

Meteorologists say Kompasu, which means "compass" in Japanese, is the strongest tropical storm to hit the Seoul metropolitan area in 15 years.

They said winds of 52.4 mps were recorded on Hong Island, off the nation's southwest coast, as of 8 a.m., marking the strongest wind since 2000, when a gust speed of 58.3 mps was reported on the peninsula.
In Seoul, the maximum wind speed reached 29.5 mps in eastern parts of the city, which is powerful enough to destroy shoddily built houses, they said.


태풍 `곤파스`가 상륙한 2일 오전 경기도 성남시 분당구 정자동 돌마로의 가로수가 강풍으로 인해 지나가던 승용차 위로 쓰러져 있다. [연합뉴스]

The seventh typhoon of the year made landfall on Ganghwa Island on the west coast at 6:35 a.m. and passed over Cheorwon, about 80 kilometers northeast of Seoul, at a speed of 23 kilometers per hour at 9:00 a.m., according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA).

The KMA issued typhoon warnings for Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and South Chungcheong Province, forecasting the tropical storm is expected to move to the East Sea Thursday afternoon.

An 80-year-old man in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province, was killed after being hit by a flying roof tile, the agency said.

In Bundang on the southern outskirts of Seoul, a broken tree branch hit and killed a 37-year-old man, who was leaving for work, while a 38-year-old resident of Bucheon, west of the capital, was injured by a flying cover from a food cart.

Four people were injured by broken glass in Taean, South Chungcheong Province.
Emergency rooms at Seoul's major hospitals were crowded with people who were injured by fragments of broken house windows and downed trees. Three patients were admitted to Hanyang University Medical Center in eastern Seoul after being hit by flying signboards and broken glass.

According to government officials, a massive power outage affected mass transportation, disrupting the operations of Subway Line 1 that links Seoul with Inchon and Suwon and the above-ground section of Line 4 that links the capital to Ansan on the west coast.

The operations of manufacturing plants in Ansan's industrial complex were halted by a power blackout.

"When I was riding a subway train on my way to work, it stopped for over 10 minutes," said Jeong Min-gyu, a passenger of Seoul Subway Line 2. "I was 20 minutes late for work this morning."

Chae In-sook, a 53-year-old citizen, said she had never experienced wind so severe.

"I had to run in the downpour to the subway station in my neighborhood because my umbrella was broken," she said.

Power outages also affected at least 130,000 houses in South Chungcheong Province, South Jeolla Province and the city of Gwangju, according to the
National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Agricultural product damage is also estimated to be astronomical, as owners of rice paddies and pear, grape and apple farms along the west coastal areas reported extensive damage from the strong winds.

Some 100 houses in Seoul reported their windows were damaged, while hundreds of trees and at least 10 utility poles had been knocked down, the agency said, adding the exact sum of property damage has yet to be compiled.

The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education issued emergency instructions, asking elementary and middle schools in the capital city to delay the beginning of classes by two hours.

In a related measure, all public and private kindergartens were closed for the day.

A total of 128 domestic and international flights were canceled at airports nationwide, the NEMA said.

All early morning flights were canceled at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, while Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, canceled or diverted nearly 20 international flights scheduled for early Thursday morning.

At least 148 ferry operations from Mokpo in South Jeolla Province to Jeju island were suspended, said the agency.

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초중고 등교시간 2시간 늦춰, 유치원은 휴업

제7호 태풍 '곤파스'가 2일 오전 당초 예상보다 빠르게 이동하면서 한반도에 상륙해 강풍을 동반한 비바람에 전기가 끊기고 지하철 운행이 중단돼 출근길 시민이 큰 불편을 겪고 있다.

새벽부터 초속 20m가 넘는 강한 바람으로 간판이 떨어져 길가에 나뒹구는가 하면 뽑힌 가로수가 도로를 가로막아 차량이 우회하는 등 태풍이 곳곳에서 시민들의 발을 묶고 있다.

이날 오전 5시20분께 서울 지하철 1호선에 전기 공급이 중단되면서 서울역에서 경인선 인천역까지 지하철 1호선 상ㆍ하행선 운행이 전면 중단됐다.

코레일은 강풍으로 전선에 이물질이 달라붙는 등의 사고로 전기가 끊긴 것으로 보고 긴급복구작업을 벌이고 있다.

오전 5시26분께 지하철 4호선 금정역∼오이도역 구간 운행이 중단됐고 오전 6시20분께는 지하철 2호선 전동차가 당산철교 위에 멈췄다가 30여 분만에 운행을 재개했다.

비슷한 시각 지하철 2호선 뚝섬역~강변역 구간 운행이 5분여 동안 중단되기도 했다.
서울시내 곳곳에서는 강풍에 뽑힌 가로수와 부러진 나뭇가지들이 도로를 가로막고 있다.

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