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2 typhoons weaken after pounding South Korea and Japan

Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea – A weakening typhoon brushed by metropolitan Seoul on Friday after battering southern South Korea with heavy rain and high winds, leaving one person missing and a slew of damaged buildings, canceled flights and power outages.

Japan’s weather agency downgraded a separate storm from typhoon strength after it crossed a swath of the western part of the country overnight.

South Korea’s weather agency said Yyphoon Soulik’s force has diminished as it moved northeast but was still expected to pound the country’s mountainous eastern region with strong rain and winds before exiting the peninsula in the afternoon.

North Korea reported heavy rain in its east coast city of Wonsan and in neighboring Munchon, which were lashed by 13 inches and 24.5 inches of rain respectively. No details were immediately available on whether anyone had been injured. The North’s capital of Pyongyang, which is also its biggest city, received only a relatively mild rainfall Friday.

South Korea’s government said a man in his 30s was injured and a 23-year-old woman was missing after she was apparently swept away in southern Jeju island Wednesday night. A 16-year-old boy was injured in Goheung, a southern mainland county, after a wall collapsed on Thursday.

About 22,000 power outages were reported at homes, buildings and farms in the southern regions and more than 700 flights were canceled Thursday. No major damages have been reported in Seoul and the surrounding metropolitan area, where about half of the country’s 50 million people live.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said Cimarron, now a tropical storm, was back at sea and heading for northern Japan after bringing heavy rain and high winds to the port city of Kobe and elsewhere in western Japan overnight.

The agency said Cimarron was moving north with maximum sustained winds of 90 kilometers per hour with gusts to 126 kph. It was forecast to reach the northern island of Hokkaido on Friday night.

The storm caused scattered damage, flooding and landslides as it swept across western Japan the previous night. A large wind turbine toppled on Awaji island near Kobe and a worship hall collapsed at a Shinto shrine in Kyoto, leaving the roof almost on the ground.

Japan’s disaster agency tallied 30 people injured, two seriously. More than 300 flights were canceled and high-speed bullet train service was suspended in the region.

Three students were believed to have been dragged into the ocean by strong waves while setting off fireworks at a beach in Shizuoka City as the typhoon approached Wednesday night. Japanese media said the search for them resumed Friday.

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