Japan’s coast guard is searching for a livestock ship carrying 42 crew members and 5,800 cows that a survivor says sunk off the coast of a southern Japanese island.
A powerful typhoon has ripped through South Korea’s southern and eastern coasts with tree-snapping winds and flooding rains , knocking out power to more than 270,000 homes and leaving at least one person dead.
Typhoon Maysak is among the strongest to strike Korea in years, even as damage from a previous typhoon last week is still being repaired and as a third typhoon gathered strength off the coast.
The storm packed maximum winds of 144 kilometres per hour on Thursday cancelling 950 domestic flights and halting rail services in some southern and eastern regions due to safety concerns.
Search and rescue
More than 2,400 South Koreans evacuated their homes due to the typhoon, which damaged or flooded dozens of homes and vehicles, ripped off signboards and toppled scores of trees, utility poles and lampposts. A woman in the southern city of Busan died after being injured by shattered window glass.
Japan’s coast guard was searching for a livestock ship carrying 42 crew members and 5,800 cows that made a distress call off a southern Japanese island in seas roughened by the typhoon early Wednesday. A Filipino crew member rescued late on Wednesday said the ship capsized before sinking, according to the coast guard.
The person, whose identity and condition is unclear, was found by a patrol plane sent by the defence ministry.
A call for help was received in the early hours from the vessel believed to be Gulf Livestock 1, which was on its way to the Chinese port of Tangshan from Napier in New Zealand.
Four coast guard vessels and several planes were involved in the search-and-rescue operation.
Calm after the storm
Four nuclear power reactors near Busan automatically shut down because of electricity supply issues with no leak of radioactive materials detected, South Korea’s Ministry of the Interior and Safety said.
Maysak had weakened to a tropical storm that was east of North Korea around midday, South Korea’s weather agency said.
North Korean state TV showed flooding along the eastern coast but didn’t immediately report any casualties.
As of Thursday morning, officials have managed to restore electricity to about 199,400 of the 278,600 homes that lost power. The outages were mainly in southern mainland regions including Busan and the southern resort island of Jeju.
North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency had said officials were working urgently to minimize damage from Maysak, which was forecast to make landfall in the country’s northeastern region in the afternoon.
Korean state news agency KCNA said buildings, roads, railways, cropland and drainage systems were examined and fishing boats were moved to safety while “scrupulous” protective measures were applied to power stations to ensure stable power supply during the storm.
Another storm on the way
Maysak caused mostly minor damage on the Japanese island of Okinawa on Tuesday and is the second typhoon to hit the Korean Peninsula in as many weeks.
North Korea took the brunt of last week's Typhoon Bavi, and on Thursday, state media reported that the country's premier, Kim Tok-hun, had toured flood-hit areas and discussed ways to limit damage from Typhoon Maysak.
Typhoon Bavi damaged homes, buildings and crops on the peninsula but caused no apparent casualties
Another storm in the Pacific was blowing north and forecast to affect northern Asia by the weekend. Tropical Storm Haishen could gain in ferocity before slamming into Japan’s southern islands of Kyushu and Shikoku before reaching the Korean Peninsula by early next week.