UPDATE : 2019.12.6 FRI 17:52
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6 killed, several others missing as Typhoon Mitag hits S. Korea
Rescue work is under way to find four people presumed to be buried after a landslide occurred in Busan, South Korea, on Oct. 3, 2019. (Yonhap)

Six people were killed and several others went missing as Typhoon Mitag lashed the southern and eastern regions of South Korea with heavy rain and strong winds, the authorities said Thursday.

The casualties are feared to grow further, as four people are presumed to have been buried due to a landslide in the southern city of Busan, according to the authorities.

The season's 18th typhoon landed on the coast of the small southwestern fishing county of Haenam on Wednesday night and made its way toward the East Sea early Thursday, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA).

Early on Thursday, a woman in her 70s died after being swept away by strong currents in the southeastern city of Pohang.

In Samcheok, Gangwon Province, heavy precipitation caused a landslide, which brought down a wall of a house, killing a woman sleeping inside. A similar accident took place in the southeastern county of Yeongdeok, killing one, according to the disaster authorities.

On Wednesday, a 76-year-old man was killed after he was swept away by strong currents in a farming village in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province.

Two people also went missing amid heavy rains, and several others suffered injuries, the authorities said, adding that more than 1,500 people on the southern island of Jeju and other southeastern regions were evacuated to emergency shelters.

A sightseeing train in Bonghwa, North Gyeongsang Province, derailed due to a landslide and more than a dozen sections of streets were closed because of heavy rain.

A road in the eastern city of Gangneung, Gangwon Province, is flooded on Oct. 3, 2019, as Typhoon Mitag struck the region. (Yonhap)

Flights returned to normal operations at 6 a.m., but 83 passenger ferries on 65 sea routes are still suspended, according to the authorities.

The mid-strength typhoon, the seventh to affect the Korean Peninsula this year, brought heavy rain and high winds to the southern regions even before making landfall. Several regions experienced record high levels of precipitation.

In Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province, precipitation reached 104.5 millimeters per hour, the highest since the authorities began compiling the data in 1971. The city of Donghae, Gangwon Province, saw 67.4 mm of rain per hour, marking the highest figure since 1992, according to the KMA.

"Though the typhoon receded into the East Sea, strong rain and winds are expected to continue until later in the day in the eastern coastal regions in Gangwon Province, as well as the islets of Dokdo and the island of Ulleung," the KMA said.

In some regions, officials and residents are working to recover from the impact of the typhoon.

More than 44,000 homes suffered power outages due to the typhoon, and power to some 82 percent of them has been restored so far.

The land ministry said it is set to start the safety check and maintenance work of all roads until the end of this month.

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon called for the full employment of personnel and equipment available to rescue those buried in a landslide incident in Busan and safety measures to be taken in the aftermath of the typhoon, according to his office. (Yonhap)

Go yu-ri  edt@koreapost.com

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