Powerful typhoon Chaba barrels toward Japan

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 3:55pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 10:52pm

Authorities issued storm and heavy rain warnings on Wednesday as powerful typhoon Chaba barrelled toward Japan, after it hit a South Korean resort island causing flight cancellations and flooding streets.

The violent storm was moving north-northeast off the Tsushima islets chain near Japan’s southern Kyushu, packing gusts of up to 180km/h, Japan’s weather agency said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued warnings for gusts, heavy rains, high ocean waves and floods, covering a large swathe of western Japan.

The storm is set to hit Japan’s main island of Honshu on Wednesday evening before moving out into the Pacific on Thursday, the agency reported.

The typhoon hit the South Korean resort island of Jeju early on Wednesday, bringing heavy rains that flooded streets, forced flight cancellations and disrupted power to thousands of homes.

South Korea’s weather agency had issued typhoon alerts for Jeju as well as the mainland port of Busan – the country’s second-largest city.

Dozens of flights in and out of Jeju – a popular destination for Chinese tourists – were cancelled as Chaba barrelled over the island packing gusts of up to 200km/h.

More than 25,000 houses on the island had their power supply disrupted, the Yonhap news agency reported, while Busan city announced the closure of 900 schools.

Dramatic footage aired by the YTN news channel showed six crew members from a docked ferry being swept off a pier and into the sea by a giant wave in the southern port of Yeosu. All six were later rescued.