Bavi lashes Korean Peninsula, moves into China

Adam Douty

After reaching peak intensity during the middle of the week, Typhoon Bavi barreled into the Korean Peninsula on Thursday packing winds of 133 km/h (83 mph) as it moved onshore. This is equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic and East Pacific basins.

Bavi made landfall over the North Hwanghae and South Hwanghae provinces in western North Korea early Thursday morning, local time, passing just north of the capital city, Pyongyang.

The above satellite image shows Tropical Storm Bavi spinning across the Yellow Sea on Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 25. (RAMMB/CIRA)

The North's Korea Central TV reported damage to houses and public facilities where the storm made landfall as well as snapped trees and utility poles. Roads were flooded, including Nampo located closer to Pyongyang.

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Flooded roadways were common across the region, after the storm produced widespread rainfall totals of 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) in a couple of hours on Thursday. Anju reported 224 mm (8.81 inches) of rainfall from Bavi.

"In South Korea, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety reported damages to buildings, walls, roads and other structures," stated a report from the Associated Press.

A bicyclist stops to view fallen trees from a typhoon on a main road in Pyongyang, North Korea, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. A typhoon damaged homes and other buildings, flooded roads and toppled utility poles on the Korean Peninsula before weakening to a tropical storm. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)

More than 9,300 homes lost power in South Korea after Bavi lashed the region on Wednesday and Thursday, added the Associated Press. But by Thursday afternoon, it had been restored to most homes, including over 3,500 in cities and towns near Seoul and around 900 in the southern resort island of Jeju, which was hit by the typhoon on Wednesday.

By Thursday afternoon, power had been restored to most of more than 9,300 South Korean homes, including over 3,500 in cities and towns near Seoul and around 900 in the southern resort island of Jeju, which was hit by the typhoon on Wednesday.

Conditions rapidly improved across the Korean Peninsula by Thursday evening as the storm moved northward into China and began to lose wind intensity. Bavi has since been designated an area of low pressure by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

Although the threat for damaging winds will lessen after the storm moves inland, Bavi can bring the risk for heavy flooding rainfall across northeastern China and extreme southeastern Russia into Friday.

Bavi first developed as a tropical storm just east of Taiwan on Saturday morning, local time, according to the JMA.

Bavi was able to strengthen in the presence of the warm waters of the East China Sea and an area of light wind shear, or the change in direction and speed of wind in the atmosphere.

As Bavi spun near the central Ryukyu Islands from Sunday into Monday, it battered the region with rough surf, bands of heavy rain and strong winds as it strengthened into a typhoon.

The island of Okinawa had wind gusts to near 90 km/h (60 mph) and up to 300 mm (12 inches) of rain. This was despite the core of strongest wind and heaviest rain remaining to the west of the island.

Bavi pulled away from the Ryukyu Islands and toward the Korean Peninsula, lashing the region with bands of heavy rain and damaging winds on Wednesday.

The storm reached peak intensity on Wednesday afternoon while crossing the Yellow Sea, with the equivalent wind speed of a Category 3 hurricane in the Atlantic or eastern Pacific.

On Wednesday morning, local time, a wind gust to 117 km/h (73 mph) was reported on Jeju Island.

Bands of rain and gusty winds swept across Jeju and mainland South Korea through Wednesday night.

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