Typhoon Hinnamnor, the 11th of the kind this year, has been gaining strength and is expected to bring torrential downpours, gale-force winds and rough seas to coastal regions in East Asia as it inches northward.
South Korea's state weather agency said Typhoon Hinnamnor has reached waters off the southern island of Jeju on Monday, as South Korea braces for what could be the most powerful storm ever to hit the country.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said Monday he will be on "emergency standby" as powerful Typhoon Hinnamnor nears the nation, Yonhap News Agency has reported.
The typhoon has forced flight cancellations, closures of schools and suspensions of certain business operations as South Korea raised its typhoon alert level to its highest.
As heavy rain and strong wind, already pelting the southern part of the country, continue to barrel northward, South Korea's three major telecom operators have rolled out emergency measures against potential network disruptions amid the powerful typhoon, Yonhap News Agency reported Monday.
After brushing past Jeju, Typhoon Hinnamnor is forecast to make landfall 80 km north-northwest of the southern port city of Busan on Tuesday morning, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.
Meanwhile, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is taking precautions as it braces for a powerful typhoon churning toward the Korean Peninsula, reported the Korean Central News Agency.
DPRK officials have inspected buildings at risk of flooding or collapsing, authorities have taken preventive measures in areas frequently hit by mudslides and inspected the transportation facilities, and fishing boats out in the sea were recalled to port, the agency reported.
Typhoon Hinnamnor may approach Japan's southwestern main island of Kyushu on Tuesday, Japan's weather agency said, along with warnings of high waves, strong wind gusts and mudslides.
It was moving slowly north over the East China Sea after passing between Ishigaki and Miyako islands in Okinawa Prefecture, the Japan Meteorological Agency said Sunday, advising people in eastern and western Japan to also stay alert.
On Sunday afternoon, the agency has upgraded the intensity rating of the typhoon from "strong" to "very strong."
Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan has already been battered by torrential rain, leading to the agency issuing a level 5 alert, the highest on Japan's disaster warning, for 409,000 people of more than 172,000 households in the vicinity of a flooded river in Hamamatsu City.
Local officials have told those in the affected region to take shelter on the second floor of their houses, or higher, if possible, or to find shelter in tall buildings.
They have also been told to remain vigilant for landslides that often occur when terrain on hills becomes unstable after being inundated.
Meteorologists have warned that moist air from the typhoon and a rain front extending from the Korean Peninsula to the Sea of Japan are likely to keep atmospheric conditions unstable in regions away from the typhoon.
China's national observatory on Monday renewed a yellow alert for Hinnamnor as it is moving closer to eastern China.
Some areas in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai are expected to see moderate to heavy rains from 8 a.m. Monday to 8 a.m. Tuesday due to the typhoon, with some regions receiving up to 80 millimeters of precipitation, the National Meteorological Center said.
Ships and boats have been urged to take shelter at harbors and relevant areas have been asked to prepare for rescue and relief work.
The terms typhoon, hurricane and cyclone all refer to tropical cyclones and differ as per where they originate. Typhoons develop in the northwestern Pacific and usually impacts Asia.