Powerful typhoon passes over North Korea


A powerful typhoon has passed over the Korean peninsula, leaving five people dead and 460 houses damaged or destroyed in North Korea, according to state media.

The storm flooded 460 sq km (178 sq miles) of farmland, the official KCNA news agency said, in a country already suffering food shortages.

Typhoon Lingling earlier killed three people in South Korea.

Flights were cancelled and tens of thousands of homes left without power.

The typhoon struck North Korea at 14:00 local time (05:00 GMT) on Saturday, KCNA said.

There were concerns the storm, which injured three people, could worsen already severe food shortages.

Earlier this year, the UN warned that up to 10 million North Koreans were “in urgent need of food assistance”.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held an emergency meeting on Friday and scolded officials for their lack of action as Typhoon Lingling approached, KCNA said.

The government was giving “primary attention” to the protection of crops as well as dams and reservoirs, the agency said.

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AFP/Image caption: A satellite image of Lingling as it approached South Korea on Friday

Lingling made landfall in South Korea earlier on Saturday before heading north with winds gusting up to 140 km/h (86 mph), the South’s Yonhap news agency reported.

The Japan Meteorological Agency showed the storm weakening considerably on Sunday as it continued overland into China.

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EPA/Image caption: Typhoon Lingling battered Seoul and led to the closure of many roads

South Korea is now recovering from the typhoon, according to Yonhap, with power restored to nearly all 160,000 affected homes and flights resuming.

Lingling packed the fifth-strongest winds of any typhoon to hit the country, the agency said.

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