Chinese Ships Battered in Typhoon, 5 Dead, 10 Missing

On Aug. 24, 2012 as 0240 UTC NASA’s Terra Satellite flew over Typhoon Bolaven and the MODIS instrument captured this visible image of the storm as it continues moving through the Philippine Sea. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

(Bloomberg) — Typhoon Bolaven killed at least eight people as it lashed the Korean peninsula with strong winds and heavy rain, capsizing fishing boats and grounding aircraft.

typhoon bolaven

Five fishermen from two Chinese vessels drowned, 10 remained missing and 18 were safe ashore after the storm passed Jeju Island off the southern tip of Korea, according to an e- mailed statement from the Coast Guard.

Another three people were killed in separate accidents, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said, without providing details. Yonhap News reported that one of the victims was an apartment guard who was crushed by a container box, another a truck driver struck by a falling tree and the third a man who was hit by a cross that fell from a church.

While Seoul escaped widespread damage, as many as 109 overseas flights in and out of Incheon International Airport, the nation’s biggest gateway, were canceled as of 6 p.m. Almost 300 domestic flights from Gimpo, Gimhae, Jeju and other smaller South Korean airports were canceled, and some 87 ferry routes were closed today, according to the transport ministry.

The center of Bolaven was over the sea and 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of the North Korean capital of Pyongyang as of 6 p.m. local time, said Kim Dong Jin, a forecaster from the Korea Meteorological Administration’s typhoon center in Seoul.

U.S. and South Korean forces suspended military exercises due to the typhoon and will resume the drills tomorrow if the weather improves, Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min Seok said by phone.

-By Seonjin Cha and Rose Kim. Copyright 2012 Bloomberg.