S. Korea Shipyards Set to Halt Operations as Typhoon Hinnamnor Approaches
South Korea issued weather advisories and raised its typhoon alert level on Monday as typhoon Hinnamnor neared, with heavy rain and strong wind already lashing southern parts of the country.
The typhoon, travelling northward at a speed of 19 km per hour (12 mph), is expected to land 90 kilometres southwest of the port city Busan early on Tuesday, after reaching waters off Jeju Island around Monday midnight.
"Very strong winds and heavy rains are expected across the country through to Tuesday due to the typhoon, while there will be places where very high waves cross breakwaters and coastal roads along with storm and tsunami," the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said.
Warnings have been issued across the southern cities, including Gwangju, Busan, Daegu and Ulsan, following that in the southern island of Jeju, while the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters on Sunday upgraded its emergency response posture to the highest level for the first time in five years for typhoons.
The port city and its neighbouring area have received rain throughout the weekend, with more rain is forecast for Monday and Tuesday.
On Sunday, President Yoon Suk-yeol held a meeting with the authorities to review the response system, while promising to put all efforts in minimising damage from the typhoon.
Local media reported on Sunday that the country's three South Korean shipbuilders – Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Samsung Heavy Industries – are expected to halt operation on Tuesday.
Other businesses such as steelmaker Poscoare also expected to suspend operations, while major airlines such as Korean Air Lines and Asiana Airlines have reportedly cancelled some of its flights departing after 1 p.m. Monday (0400 GMT).
(Reuters - Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Kim Coghill)