Typhoon Kompasu arrived in central South Korea early Thursday morning, bringing strong winds and heavy rain, which suspended metro operations in the Seoul metropolitan area, caused massive power outage along the west coast, forced the cancellation of flights and delayed the opening of schools, Xinhua reported.
The season's seventh typhoon, meaning "compass" in Japanese, reached Ganghwa Island on the west coast, about 80 kilometers west of Seoul, at a speed of 45 kilometers per hour as of 6:35 a.m. local time, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration ( KMA). It moved over open water to the east around 10:50 a.m. local time.
Almost all above-ground sections of Seoul's extensive subway network were out of service because of power cuts, and drivers and pedestrians had to contend with toppled trees and heavy winds.
Electric power distribution systems in Seoul and surrounding provinces were damaged, according to Korea Electric Power Corp.. More than 725,800 houses were without power as of 7 a.m. local time, it said.
An 80-year-old man in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province, had died after being hit by a flying roof tile, Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reported.
School hours for elementary and middle schools in Seoul, Incheon and nearby areas have been delayed by 2 hours on Thursday, according to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
All flights were canceled before 9 a.m. on Thursday at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul. The airport is to decide on resuming flight operations according to climate conditions after 9: 30 a.m..
Meteorologists say Kompasu is the strongest tropical storm to hit the Seoul metropolitan area in 15 years.