SEOUL (AFP) – A powerful typhoon lashed South Korea on Monday after smashing into southern Japan with record winds and heavy rains that left four people missing in a landslide.
Half a million people were without power after Typhoon Haishen roared past Japan’s southern-most main island of Kyushu, ripping off roofs and releasing half a metre (20 inches) of water in just a day.
Rescue workers were picking through mud and detritus after a hillside collapsed in rural Miyazaki.
Dozens of police officers were on their way to help, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo.
At least two other deaths had been reported during the storm, he said, although the causes were not immediately known.
Haishen, which came on the heels of another powerful typhoon, crashed into Okinawa on Saturday and moved northwards throughout Sunday.
Around 1.8 million people were told to seek shelter, for fears that the 200 kilometre-per-hour (135 mile-per-hour) winds would wreak havoc on Japan’s wooden housing stock.
By lunchtime on Monday, the system had moved over South Korea, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights, and sparking landslides.
Traffic lights and trees were felled in and around Busan, streets were flooded and power was knocked out to thousands of homes.
Haishen was churning its way up the eastern side of the peninsula into the Sea of Japan, known as the East Sea in Korea, having lost some of its destructive force, but still packing winds of up to 126 kilometres per hour.
Haishen was forecast to make landfall again in Chongjin, North Hamgyong province in North Korea, at around midnight, according to South Korea’s Meteorological Administration.
North Korea is still reeling from the effects of Typhoon Maysak last week.