BUSAN, South Korea – Super typhoon Sanba is predicted to hit Busan later this weekend, and forecasters are predicting it to be on the same level strength as Typhoon Maemi, which pounded the country in 2003, leaving 117 people dead.
Meteorologist Meghan Evans says that as of Thursday night, Sanba has strengthened into a super typhoon, the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). A super typhoon is a storm with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph or higher. Wind gusts have been recorded as high as 305km/hr as the storm has intensified since it was a mid-strength typhoon moving northwest over waters almost 1,000 kilometers east of Manila yesterday afternoon.
According to AccuWeather, even well ahead of Sanba moisture from the typhoon will meet with a stalled front draped across South Korea. Several inches of rain may deluge southeastern areas before the typhoon approaches Jeju Island on Monday, as well as the southern mainland of the Korean peninsula by Monday night. Rainfall of one or two feet is not out of the question, especially in the country's mountainous terrain.
Early predictions of the typhoon before the storm intensified in the past 12 hours.
Preparations at the Busan Yacht Club are underway to tie down the boats to avoid any damage.
"To put things into perspective, Typhoon Bolaven wasn't even a typhoon before it hit Busan. It was downgraded to a tropical storm. Sanba is and will still be a full-fledged typhoon when it hits Busan's shores. Probably the biggest to hit us since Maemi," said Mark Chi, president of Busan Expat Sailing Association.
For specific information on the storm, please refer to the Korean Meteorological Administration. Strong winds associated with typhoon may cause damage by blowing down trees, fences, TV antennas, etc. Property can be damaged by loose objects being blown around by these strong winds and by driving rains entering through joints around windows and doors. In some areas, landslides, flooding and wave damage may occur.
Korea's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) provides safety guidelines on preparing for a typhoon. For these safety tips, please refer to eng.nema.go.kr/sub/
For those of you that have never experienced typhoon weather conditions, you should take the following actions:
3. Check to make sure you have sufficient candles, matches, lanterns, flashlights, batteries, etc. to provide adequate emergency lighting.
4. Close and lock all exterior doors, shutters and windows
5. Check to see that you have a supply of non-perishable foodstuff and potable water set aside for an emergency.
6. Secure or move indoors all items outdoors such as toys, cookers, bicycles, balcony furniture, grills, plants and anything moveable.
7. Keep your radio tuned to Radio AFN (AM1440/FM102.7) for tropical storm announcements.
8. Set your freezer to the coldest temperature setting to minimize spoilage if the electric power is cut off.
9. Gather buckets, towels, rags and mops to absorb rainwater that may be blown into your quarters by the wind.
10. If water leaks in around the windows and doors, roll up rugs and place them on top of beds or tables to avoid water damage.
11. If the storm becomes very severe, move your family into a hallway or an area where there is the least exposure to external glass windows.
Continue to monitor local radio and other media, as well as the National Weather Service to be aware of weather developments. Minor tropical storms can develop into hurricanes or typhoons very quickly, limiting the time available for a safe evacuation. Inform family and friends of your whereabouts and remain in close contact with your tour operator, hotel staff, transportation providers (airlines, cruise lines, etc.), and local officials for evacuation instructions during a weather emergency.
English weather report on the progression of the storm.