Typhoon Khanun, the 11th typhoon of the year, formed in the western Pacific Ocean on August 9 and moved northward, bringing strong winds and heavy rains to Japan and Korea. The typhoon made landfall in Japan’s Kagoshima Prefecture on August 10, causing widespread damage and disruption to transportation and power supply. The typhoon then crossed the Korean Peninsula on August 11, weakening into a tropical depression as it entered North Korea. The typhoon dumped more than 300 mm of rain in some parts of South Korea, triggering landslides and flooding. According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, Khanun was the first typhoon to directly hit Seoul since records began in 1904.
Floods and landslides affect Russian Far East
The remnants of Typhoon Khanun continued to move northward, reaching Russia’s Far Eastern region of Primorye on August 12. The region, which borders China and North Korea, experienced heavy downpours that caused rivers to overflow and inundate villages. According to the Russian Emergency Ministry, 32 settlements were cut off, 543 residential houses and large swathes of roads were flooded by Saturday morning. A state of emergency was declared in nine municipalities in Primorye, including Ussuriysk, Dalnerechensk, Spassk-Dalny, Kavalerovo, Chernigovka, Pozharsky, Krasnoarmeysky, Oktyabrsky and Partizansky. More than 1,000 people were evacuated from the affected areas, and three people were reported dead due to the floods.
Dam breach in Ussuriysk worsens the situation
One of the worst-hit areas was Ussuriysk, a city about 100 km north of Vladivostok, the administrative center of Primorye. A dam that was built to contain floods was breached on Saturday morning, releasing a large amount of water that flooded nearby houses and streets. The dam was constructed in 2019 after a previous flood that killed six people and damaged more than 2,000 houses in Ussuriysk. The authorities said that the dam was not designed to withstand such a high water level and pressure. The breach was later repaired by emergency workers using sandbags and concrete blocks.
More rain expected in the region
The weather forecast for Primorye indicated that more rain was expected in the region this week, with some areas receiving double the monthly rainfall. The authorities warned of possible mudslides and further flooding, and urged residents to follow safety instructions and avoid unnecessary travel. The Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and instructed the government to provide assistance to the affected people. He also ordered an investigation into the causes of the dam breach and the adequacy of the flood prevention measures.