Typhoon “Haishen” hits Japan with record gusts, makes landfall in Ulsan, South Korea


Typhoon "Haishen" lashed Japan on September 5 and 6, 2020, before making landfall in Ulsan, South Korea at around 00:00 UTC on Monday, September 7 as a Category 2 hurricane equivalent. At least 3 people have been killed, 1 in Japan and 2 in South Korea. However, 4 people are still missing in Japan.

Ahead of the storm, officials in Japan ordered nearly 1.69 million people to evacuate from dangerous areas in all seven prefectures in Kyushu as well as Yamaguchi Prefecture, and advised to evacuate another 6.61 million. Nearly 4 million are still under evacuation advisories as of 13:00 UTC on September 7.

However, only about 200 000 people actually evacuated, including 50 000 in Nagasaki, 46 000 in Fukuoka, and 42 000 in Kumamoto.

The typhoon caused massive blackouts, disrupted transportation, and mobile networks, left at least 1 person dead, 4 missing, and 108 injured.

According to Kyodo, a woman in her 70s died in a hospital in Kagoshima after falling in a street gutter as she tried to evacuate to the house of an acquaintance.

Four people are missing after a landslide hit the village of Shiiba, Miyazaki Prefecture early morning (LT) September 7.

Shiiba recorded over 400 mm (15.7 inches) of rainfall on Sunday alone, September 6 while other parts of Kyushu registered up to 500 mm (20 inches).

As of 09:00 LT on September 7, 392 030 households across Kyushu were without electricity.

More than 500 flights were canceled in southern Kyushu and Okinawa.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the strongest gusts on record were observed at more than 30 locations. In the Nomozaki district of the city of Nagasaki, wind gusts reached a record 213.84 km/h (132.87 mph) in the early hours of Monday.

Fukue Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, registered up to 88 mm (3.4 inches) per hour.

In 24 hours to 06:00 LT on Tuesday, September 7, an additional 300 mm (11.8 inches) was forecast in the Tokai region of central Japan, 250 mm (9.8 inches) in the island of Shikoku, and 200 mm (7.8 inches) in northern Kyushu and the Kanto-Koshin region covering Tokyo.

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Haishen made landfall in Ulsan, South Korea at around 00:00 UTC on September 7 as a Category 2 hurricane equivalent.

At the time of landfall, it had 10-minute maximum sustained winds at 140 km/h (85 mph) and the central pressure at 955 hPa. This is the third typhoon to hit the country since August 10.

The typhoon caused significant traffic disruption, flooded or destroyed at least 100 homes, toppled trees, damaged traffic signs, port facilities and other structures.

Many areas are still under the highest landslide alert.

Officials said one person is missing after being swept away by floodwaters that filled a drainage channel in the town of Samcheok. Another person was found dead in Busan, but the cause of death is still unknown.

80 fishing boats were destroyed or sank.

Thousands of households were left without electricity and 300 flights across 10 airports canceled.

Jeju Island registered 552 mm (21.7 inches) to 10:00 LT on Monday, Yangsan registered 296 mm (11.6 inches), and Ulsan 245 mm (9.6 inches).

Typhoon "Haishen" at 22:40 UTC on September 6, 2020. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA

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Although Haishen is expected to reach northeastern North Korea by late Monday (LT), September 7, the country is already feeling its effects.

The storm has reportedly damaged roads, bridges, homes, and communication towers.

Parts of the region have already seen up to 300 mm (11.8 inches) of rain.

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Featured image: Typhoon "Haishen" at 22:40 UTC on September 6, 2020. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA


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