Once-Super Typhoon Chaba kills at least 5 after lashing South Korea, Japan

By By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
October 07, 2016, 4:58:16 AM EDT

Once-Super Typhoon Chaba lashed South Korea and Japan early this week.

Chaba reached super-typhoon status on Monday afternoon and has since weakened.

The Ryukyu Islands of Japan were the first to feel the force of Chaba as the storm tracked just southwest of Okinawa Prefecture on Monday.

While Naha and Okinawa were spared the worst conditions, Kumejima was pummeled by damaging winds and heavy rain. A peak wind gust of 214 km/h (133 mph) was reported on Monday.

Chaba next set its sights on southern South Korea and southwestern mainland Japan.

Prior to reaching the southern coast of South Korea, Chaba passed just east of Jeju. The storm unloaded more than 275 mm (11 inches) of rain on parts of the island along with winds of 125 km/h (78 mph).

Chaba turned northeast skirting the southern coast of South Korea on Wednesday and unleashing flooding and damaging winds.

At least five deaths have been reported in South Korea while another person remains missing, according to Yonhap New Agency.

Floodwaters raced through the streets of Busan. Structural damage was also reported.

Widespread rainfall of 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) fell across the southern third of South Korea causing flooding.

Power outages totaled more than 200,000 homes according to Korea Electric Power Corporation.

Travel chaos ensued as more than 110 flights were canceled across South Korea along with impacts to high-speed rail services.

Hyundai Motor Company was forced to suspend production at two factories in Ulsan due to flooding, according to Reuters.

Ports and shipping interested also faced significant impacts from Chaba as several key ports and shipping routes were closed.

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Across mainland Japan, impacts were less extreme as the storm passes to the north and west on Wednesday.

Strong winds lashed areas from Kyushu and Shikoku into southwestern Honshu with frequent gusts over 65 km/h (40 mph)

Tsushima Island, which lies between Kyushu and South Korea, was hit with winds as high as 117 km/h (72 mph).

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Chaba will continue to track away from Japan after racing across northern Honshu with heavy rain on Wednesday night.

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