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Typhoon Slams Into South Korea’s Busan, Flood Victims Brace for More Heavy Rain

Published: September 6, 2022
A man takes photos on a promenade as waves crash in the sea after Typhoon Hinnamnor passed through Busan on Sept. 6, 2022. (Image: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Thousands of South Koreans were evacuated as Typhoon Hinnamnor hit southern parts of the country, authorities said on Sept. 6, with heavy rain and strong winds expected to continue throughout the day.

In the port city of Busan, large waves were seen crashing into seawalls, leaving flooded roads and broken fences in the aftermath.

As of Tuesday morning, 3,463 people had been moved to higher ground, with one 25-year-old reported missing in Ulsan, authorities said. The typhoon has forced hundreds of flight cancellations, suspension of business operations and school closings.

The typhoon, travelling north at about 52 kilometres per hour (32 mph), left the Korean peninsula about 7:10 a.m. according to the Korea Meteorological Administration. It is expected to head northeast and pass about 400km northwest of Sapporo, Japan, around midnight on Tuesday, the agency said.

South Koreans on edge

Bang Chun-il was ironing a white shirt for a client while nervously watching heavy raindrops fall outside his laundry shop in Seoul.

South Korea is facing another bout of heavy rain after the deadly floods in August, as typhoon Hinnamnor neared on Sept. 5. But Kim said his business had not fully recovered since his laundry was submerged last month.

“I’m worried. Whenever it rains like now, I’m concerned. I checked the damages for the flood [in August] and applied for recovery work, but couldn’t receive compensation yet,” Bang said.

He’s been running a laundry for about 30 years, not very far from the semi-basement apartment where three family members died after swiftly moving floodwaters filled their apartment last month. The dangers of such underground flats, called banjiha, were famously depicted in a flooding scene in the 2020 Oscar-winning film “Parasite.”

Bang was skeptical that things would be different this time as there had been repeated floods several times in his neighbourhood. As such, he wanted to be highly prepared this time around.

“We prepared water stoppers and sandbags. So, if it rains a lot, then we will act promptly as we want to avoid damages unlike last time. We don’t want another damage. We suffered so much last time.”

In the August floods, about 391 people were displaced in the greater Seoul area, most of whom had to stay at local schools and gyms.

A flood victim who’s been living in a shelter since her semi-basement flat was flooded, said she’s hopeless now.

“My place hasn’t been restored yet, but now it’s raining, and typhoon is coming. So, I’m very worried about it. I’m afraid to go back home now, because I don’t know if something will happen. There is no solution, and I don’t know what to do. That’s why we are just staying here,” said the victim in her 60s, among 20 people in the shelter who could not go back to their homes.

Typhoon Hinnamnor is expected to make landfall southwest of the port city of Busan early on Tuesday, after reaching the holiday island of Jeju on Monday.

By Reuters (Production by: Dogyun Kim, Daewoung Kim, Minwoo Park, Heejung Jung)