World Bulletin / News Desk
Typhoon Chaba had already attracted global headlines this week as it set a new regional record on approaching the Korean Peninsula with gusts of 375 kilometers (233 miles) per hour.
Although the worst of the storm’s power peaked before reaching Jeju Island and the South Korean mainland, Seoul officials cited by The Korea Herald feared the local death toll would rise.
After the typhoon moved on towards Japan during the afternoon, emergency responders were forced to wade through flooded streets and buildings in Jeju as well as major southern cities such as Busan and Ulsan.
Jeju winds swirled as high as 56.5 meters per second and some areas saw 600 millimeters of rain from Tuesday.
Thousands of air passengers were temporarily held back at airports affected by the storm.
The timing of Typhoon Chaba’s arrival also caused concerns ahead of Thursday’s start of the Busan International Film Festival – some temporary structures erected for the renowned event were blown over.
Factories including those operated by Hyundai Motor and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering had to suspend duties due to flooding and a blackout respectively, as hundreds of thousands of households were similarly hit.
South Korea is no stranger to tropical storms, but this year had been relatively quiet on that front.
North Korea was far worse off due to typhoon-related rains in late August and early last month, when more than 500 people were left dead or missing and many more homeless.