South Korea

Typhoon Poseidon hits Japan, South Korea


Typhoon Poseidon hit the Korean peninsula less than a week after Typhoon Mesaq made landfall in South Korea.

Poseidon made landfall near Ulsan, north of Busan, on Monday morning local time, the Korea Herald reported. The intensity of the typhoon is equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale in the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific Basin.

By Monday afternoon, Poseidon had appeared over the Sea of ​​Japan. The typhoon lost wind strength as it passed over land and is now equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic or eastern Pacific basin.

The Korea Herald reported that Poseidon had caused severe traffic disruptions, power outages and tree damage in the area. Hyundai’s factory in Ulsan was shut down after the power outage, and the company said it may take some time for the plant to become fully operational.

The landfall of Poseidon marks the third typhoon to hit the Korean peninsula in a week following Mesaq and Typhoon Bavi, which made landfall in North Korea on Aug. 27. Residents had little time to recover from these storms before the god of the sea arrived.

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This satellite image shows Poseidon over the Korean peninsula on Monday afternoon local time. (CIRA/RAMMB)

On Friday, Poseidon became the first super typhoon of the season in the Western Pacific, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

The typhoon hit southern Japan first over the weekend.

Late last week, Japanese officials told residents to prepare for the impact of the typhoon and urged many to evacuate their homes. As of Sunday morning local time, more than 810,000 people in four prefectures in southwestern Japan had been ordered to evacuate.

Minamidaito, a small island in southern Japan, spent most of Saturday and Saturday night in Poseidon’s eyewall and reported wind gusts of 185 km/h (115 mph).

Rainfall totals of 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) have been reported in southwestern Japan. As of Sunday night, the capital city in southern Kyushu had received 219 millimeters (8.62 inches).

At least 319,790 households in the Kyushu area were without power as of Sunday evening, according to Kyushu Electric Power Co. Technicians respond as weather conditions permit.

Before the arrival of Typhoon Poseidon, the search and rescue work for the missing crew members in the East China Sea was suspended. Dozens of sailors have been missing since the middle of last week after a cargo ship carrying a herd of cattle capsized in rough seas from Typhoon Maysak.

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Tracking in an area of ​​light wind shear and very warm water late last week, Poseidon overtook Messac as the strongest storm in the western Pacific so far this season.

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“Any building or infrastructure weakened or slightly damaged by Maysak could be demolished by Haishen,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Jake Sojda.

Large-scale torrential rain will continue to fall on the Korean Peninsula and spread to Northeast China. Rains from Poseidon, combined with recent heavy rain from Maysak, could cause severe and widespread flooding.

Many areas along the storm’s track are expected to receive 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) of rain. 400 mm (16 in) of AccuWeather Local StormMax™ is possible.

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Due to these impacts, Poseidon is expected to reach Category 4 on the AccuWeather RealImpact™ scale of tropical cyclones for Japan and Korea. The RealImpact™ scale is a 6-point scale with scores less than 1 and 1 to 5.

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In contrast to the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, which has been used by meteorologists for decades and classifies storms by wind speed alone, the AccuWeather RealImpact™ scale is based on a broad range of important factors. The scale includes not only wind speed, but also flooding, storm surge and economic damage. This more fully expresses the storm’s potential impact on lives and livelihoods.

Widespread flooding could have major impacts on agriculture and cause crop losses as storms tore through North Korea and China earlier this week.

North Korea is a country that relies heavily on agriculture, so the threat of widespread flooding could put pressure on the country’s food supplies.

The tropical season in the western Pacific was unusually quiet earlier this summer, but became active in August and early September, even breaking records.

Typhoon Neptune rivaled Hurricane Laura, which made landfall off the Louisiana coast in August, as the strongest on Earth so far in 2020, said meteorologist Robert Speta, a weather expert in the Western Pacific storm.

In addition to being the strongest typhoon so far this year, Poseidon became the fifth named tropical system to make landfall in South Korea in 2020. The five landings in South Korea broke the country’s record for the number of landings in a single year.

Poseidon is also the fourth tropical system to affect the Korean Peninsula in the past 30 days, each stronger than the last.

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