TOKYO — A typhoon hit South Korea's second-largest city on Monday, hours after the storm skirted southwestern Japan, where it carved a trail of destruction and left four people missing. It is the second typhoon to hit in the past week.
The typhoon is expected to weaken to a tropical storm by the end of the day on Monday near the northern tip of North Korea, the South's weather agency said.
Earlier, Haishen battered southwestern Japan, leaving hundreds of thousands of homes without power. Four people were missing in Miyazaki prefecture on the island of Kyushu after a landslide swept several buildings into a river, public broadcaster NHK reported, citing officials.
Haishen is the second major storm to hit the region in a week, and it brought sustained winds of up to 90 miles an hour, devastating crops, disrupting travel and bringing heavy rains to parts of Japan vulnerable to flooding and landslides.
At least 46 people were injured in Japan’s southwestern islands, NHK said, including a woman who fell down a flight of stairs in the dark and four people who sustained cuts after the glass windows of an evacuation center were blown in.
Around 580 domestic flights were canceled in southwestern Japan, and Shinkansen bullet train services were suspended in the region.
Almost 2 million people had been ordered to evacuate the area, which was still recovering from heavy rains and flooding in July that killed 83 people, Reuters reported.
But many emergency shelters are accepting fewer people and turning away evacuees to prevent coronavirus infections, NHK reported.
Haishen, which means “sea god” in Chinese, comes just days after Typhoon Maysak followed a similar path through southwestern Japan and onto the Korean Peninsula, leaving at least two people dead.
In South Korea, the Ministry of Interior and Safety said on Monday that nearly 1,000 people had evacuated out of the path of Haishen. In Busan, a city of 3.4 million, traffic lights collapsed, signboards were ripped off and roads shut down due to strong winds and heavy rain.
In North Korea, state television aired live footage of flooded streets in the southeastern province of Kangwon early Monday and said coastal residents in the area had been evacuated out of the storm’s path.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un toured coastal areas hit by Maysak on Sunday, and he ordered party members to join the recovery effort, Korea Central News Agency reported. More than 1,000 homes were destroyed by Maysak, state media reported, with dozens of casualties.
But recriminations have already begun in North Korea over the damage caused by Maysak.
Kim dismissed the party chief of South Hamgyong province on Sunday, while the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said party officials in the coastal city of Wonsan would be “gravely punished” for failing to follow orders and prevent the damage.
North Korea’s economy is already reeling under sanctions and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Concerns are rising that this summer’s storms and floods could destroy crops in the vulnerable agriculture sector and cause food shortages.
Last week, a cargo ship carrying 43 crew members and 5,800 cows capsized off the southwest of Japan during Typhoon Maysak. Two people were rescued, and one body was recovered, but search operations have been halted because of Haishen.
Akiko Kashiwagi in Tokyo contributed to this report.