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KMA warns of potential damage from heavy rain

Typhoon Danas to drop in overnight, lower fine dust levels
July 19,2019
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Vessels return to a port in Busan on Thursday amid a forecast that Typhoon Danas will land in Korea over the weekend to pass by Jeju Island tonight and continue northeast into the southern regions of the peninsula. [SONG BONG-GEUN]
Typhoon Danas will land in Korea over the weekend, passing by Jeju Island tonight and continuing northeast into the southern regions of the country, said the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA).

The areas most affected over the weekend will be the southern regions, including South Jeolla and South Gyeongsang, according to the national weather agency.

“Typhoon Danas, currently passing through the east of Taiwan, will pass west of Jeju Island overnight from 9 p.m. Friday,” the KMA said on Thursday afternoon. “It will then land on the coastal area of South Jeolla and move further into South Gyeongsang.”

The KMA forecasted that the typhoon, registered as a small-scale typhoon with a maximum sustained wind speed of 24 meters per second (53.6 miles per hour) as of Thursday, would leave the peninsula by Sunday morning after passing through the southern regions. However, it added that the typhoon’s forecasted movement across the peninsula is subject to change.

“The typhoon moved over warm waters from Wednesday night to Thursday, growing bigger and becoming slower,” KMA said. “If it becomes bigger and slower, then it could move further north into the land [before moving out into the sea]. We need to monitor how much bigger and slower it will become as it moves across the warm and humid atmosphere next to Taiwan.”

While the country has not yet come under the influence of the approaching typhoon, a monsoonal front moving across the peninsula has been showering the country with rainfall recently.

From Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon, it rained 99.5 millimeters (3.9 inches) in Seogwipo, Jeju Island, 133.5 millimeters in the Songdang area of Jeju City and 106.5 millimeters at Mount Halla. The KMA announced a heavy rain warning in Jeju Island Thursday morning, then called it off by the afternoon as it rained less. Still, some roads in Jeju City, including one road in Gujwa-eup, were inundated under the downpour during those hours and firefighters were dispatched to the scene.

Quick rain showers fell in different areas of Seoul on Wednesday as well.

“The southern regions of the country will be affected by some rainfall Thursday and Friday due to the monsoonal front,” KMA said. “But into the weekend, these areas will be affected by heavy rainfall due to the typhoon. The country must be prepared for possible damages from the continued rainfall.”

The monsoonal rain and typhoon are expected to lower the fine dust level in the air.

“The low pressure system around the Korean Peninsula has led to stagnant air and worsening fine dust pollution,” the KMA said. “The monsoonal front moving across the peninsula should lower the fine dust level over the weekend.”

The PM2.5 fine dust level hit unhealthy levels in Seoul and South Chungcheong on Thursday, according to the government-run Korea Environment Corporation.

BY ESTHER CHUNG, KIM JEONG-YEON [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]