A powerful storm system brushed up against the Korean Peninsula on Saturday September 7th after attacking Japan's Ryukyu Islands. AFP has reported.
Typhoon Lingling is expected to make landfall in the North on Saturday afternoon, September 7th, after passing off the coast of South Korea, according to Seoul's Korea Meteorological Association.
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un convened an emergency meeting on Friday September 6th, and said "dangerous circumstances" caused by the typhoon were "imminent," but that many in positions of authority were ill prepared, the North's KCNA news service reported later that day.
Officials in the North "remain unchanged in their attitude and helpless against the typhoon, unaware of its seriousness and seized with easygoing sentiment,"
Kim said during the meeting, according to the KCNA report.
In South Korea, more than 270 flights were cancelled and power outages in over 30,000 homes have been reported, while public parks and zoos were closed for the weekend, after heavy rain and strong winds on Saturday September 7th.
Seoul's weather authorities also warned of landslides and flooding, and advised the public to stay indoors.
Kim said efforts to minimise damage from the typhoon in North Korea would be an "enormous struggle," adding that its army should "remain loyal to its sacred duty" of ensuring its citizens' safety.
The impoverished and isolated North is vulnerable to natural disasters, especially floods, due in part to deforestation and poor infrastructure.
At least 138 North Koreans were known to have died after torrential rain triggered major floods in 2016, the United Nations said at the time.
More than 160 people were killed by a massive rainstorm in the summer of 2012.