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Typhoon havocs S.Korea, causes severe loss
( 2003-09-13 13:49) (Agencies)

At least 26 South Korean people were killed and 24 others missing as of 8:00 a.m. Saturday (2300 GMT Monday) after a powerful typhoon named Maemi pounded the southern part of South Korea.

Maemi, packing gale winds of up to 216 kilometers per hour, cut off electricity in some 1.4 million homes in southern areas and left many residential and farming areas under water, reported South Korean Yonhap News Agency.

The storm also caused the derailment of an express train near Danyang County, more than 150 kilometers southeast to Seoul in North Chungcheong Province at around 0"The typhoon landed South Korean southern part Friday night, and passed through the east coast of the Korean Peninsula early Saturday morning and weakened into a tropical storm. Property damage and casualties from floods caused by the storm are expected to rise.

In South and North Gyeongsang provinces, a total of 15 people were killed and 14 others were missing as a result of torrential rains and gusts. On the southern island of Jeju, two people were killed when they were working at the seas during the storm.

Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes in southern cities to nearby schools and public facilities due to the heavy rain and strong wind, said Yonhap.
According to the Central Anti-Disaster Headquarters, a total of 317 hectares of farmland were inundated and many other roads and some highways were flooded, resulting in traffic inconveniences.

Thousands of people who visited their hometowns on southern islands on the occasion of the Chuseok (mid-autumn) holiday were stranded as high waves kept ferries from operating. Flight services were suspended for a while as well.

Traffic on the major highways was at a snail's pace as the typhoon prompted travelers to return to Seoul and other major cities sooner than expected.

South Korean airlines resumed most of their domestic operations Saturday morning after Typhoon leaving the country, according to officials of Gimpo Airport in suburban Seoul.

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