UPDATE : 2019.11.20 WED 09:21
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Typhoon Lingling likely to hit S. Korea as early as Friday

Typhoon Lingling is forecast to affect South Korea as early as Friday, with strong winds feared to cause the biggest damage, South Korea's weather agency said Wednesday.

The typhoon is slowly moving northward from seas east of Taipei but is expected to pick up speed and directly affect the country by Friday, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA).

The weather agency warned of strong winds in the southern and western regions of the country, with wind speeds expected to peak at 125-162 kilometers per hour, or 35-45 meters per second (m/s).

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook wave, arriving in Yangon, Myanmar, on Sept. 4, 2019.

Winds of 28.5-32.6 m/s can uproot trees, while stronger gusts of 32.7 m/s or more can topple ships, according to the Beaufort wind force scale.

"Damage from the strong wind is most worrisome. ... It will be difficult for people to stand still outdoors," an agency official said, raising the need for preparation in both urban and rural areas.

At the current speed, a typhoon warning is forecast to be in place on Friday for Jeju Island and expand to Seoul and Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces on Saturday afternoon.

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon holds a meeting at the Seoul government complex on Sept. 4, 2019, urging relevant organizations to prepare for Typhoon Lingling. (Yonhap)

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon hosted a meeting earlier in the day, ordering relevant government ministries and provincial governments to prepare for the typhoon.

He also urged people in the area to be careful of the typhoon in a tweet, comparing Lingling to Typhoon Bolaven, which killed 10 people and caused property damage of 636.5 billion won (US$526 million) in the country in 2012. (Yonhap)

Paul Kim  edt@koreapost.com

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