South Korea surveying damage from powerful typhoon

South Korea on Sunday was surveying the impact of one of the most powerful typhoons to ever hit the Korean Peninsula, but the country appears to have escaped widespread damage.

The country’s Interior and Safety Ministry said in a statement that it is reviewing the damage from Typhoon Lingling and engaging in recovery work. The storm killed three people, damaged buildings and knocked out power to about 161,640 homes.

Typhoon Lingling swept along South Korea’s west coast on Saturday before making landfall in North Korea. Rainstorms could be a catastrophe in North Korea because of poor drainage, deforestation and decrepit infrastructure in the impoverished country.

Typhoons that made a landfall in South Korea in past years caused greater damages and more casualties.

Pedestrians shield themselves from wind and rain brought by Typhoon Lingling on Saturday in Pyongyang, North Korea. As the typhoon passed along South Korea’s coast, it toppled trees, grounded planes and caused at least three deaths before making landfall in North Korea. (Jon Chol Jin/The Associated Press)

North Korea’s state TV on Saturday reported that an unspecified number of homes and buildings had been damaged and showed footage of flooded streets and toppled trees. But the country’s state media hasn’t publicized any typhoon-related deaths or injuries.

the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the storm killed five people and injured three and impacted 46,200 hectares of farmland.

According to KCNA, leader Kim Jong-un “urgently convened” an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss disaster prevention efforts and scolded government officials who he described as “helpless against the typhoon, unaware of its seriousness and seized with easygoing sentiment.”

The storm was moving near Russia’s Vladivostok as of Sunday morning.

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