September 03, 2010 10:27
The emergency typhoon alert issued for Korea was called off when typhoon Kompasu headed off to the East Sea at around 10:50 a.m. on Thursday. The typhoon ripped through the peninsula, tearing down trees and knocking over fences along its track through the central part including the capital. It was a sight rarely seen in recent years.
Kompasu brought winds of up to 52.4 m/s and ranked fourth in terms of intensity of storms that affected Korea in the last 107 years. But experts said the trail of destruction it left was relatively light.
They say a stroke of luck was responsible. The typhoon traveled across Korea much faster than expected, which meant that it sped through inland areas quickly. It was also a "dry typhoon" without heavy rainfall. "The more time a typhoon spends on land, the greater the destruction," said a Korea Meteorological Administration official. "We had originally projected that typhoon Kompasu would make landfall around noon on Thursday and exit into the East Sea at around 8 p.m., but it passed by much faster so damage was less than expected."
The typhoon spent just around four-and-a-half hours on the peninsula. The rapid pace also decreased the amount of precipitation. The metropolitan area including Seoul saw just 40-50 mm of rainfall, and only northern Gyeonggi Province registered heavy rain of 100-140 mm.
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