North Korea mobilizes after typhoon as Tokyo gets hit by storm

Foster Klug
Associated Press

Pyongyang, North Korea – North Korean state media urged citizens on Monday to “fully mobilize” to rebuild after powerful Typhoon Lingling lashed the country over the weekend, with workers rebuilding electricity networks, salvaging battered crops and helping families whose homes and property were damaged.

Meanwhile, a separate typhoon that blew across the Tokyo area Monday killed one person and caused dozens of injuries while disrupting rush-hour travel and knocking out power.

Beach houses are damaged as typhoon hits the beacfront area in Miura, south of Tokyo, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019.

Several railway and subway operators suspended service, and flights were canceled at Tokyo airports as Typhoon Faxai passed over Chiba, a northern suburb of the Japanese capital, before daybreak, shaking homes with strong winds and battering the area with rain.

Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters that he had received a report of one death and of damage caused by falling trees and wind-blown objects. He said some 900,000 power failures were also reported.

Earlier, Typhoon Lingling lashed the Korean Peninsula, leaving five people dead in North Korea and three dead in South Korea.

North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said strong winds and rain damaged hundreds of homes and dozens of public buildings and caused problems for crops on 46,200 hectares (114,000 acres) of farm land.

Rodong Sinmun said officials and workers were engaged in an “intense struggle” to repair power systems in several towns, including Kaesong, Pongsan, Jaeryong and Paechon, removing toppled telephone poles and steel towers and building emergency electricity networks to use until utilities are fully restored. It said power plants were also elevating their electricity production to support recovery efforts.

Workers and soldiers in major farming areas such as South Hwanghae province and South Pyongan province scrambled to drain flooded fields and rice paddies and tend to fallen rice plants and corn, the newspaper said.

Officials were reported to be “actively pushing” projects to send medicine and other necessities to residents in damaged areas as well as textbooks, notebooks and stationery to students.

Still, Rodong Sinmun added that the damage was “smaller than expected.”

The storm that hit Japan disrupted morning commutes and knocked over scaffolding, causing damage over a widespread area.

In this Sept. 8, 2019, photo, a high wave hits beach as typhoon approaches in Shizuoka city, central Japan.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the typhoon reached the Pacific by late morning, exiting Japan northeast of Tokyo with winds still blowing at 143 kilometers (89 miles) per hour with gusts up to 198 kph (123 mph).

Japan’s Kyodo News agency cited local authorities as saying at least 30 people were hurt in Chiba, Kanagawa and Shizuoka prefectures.

The usually congested trains and major stations were even more crowded than usual once services resumed, with trains stopping temporarily and running erratically.

“I can’t go to work now, and I also had to contact my customers,” said Tsubasa Kikuchi, a 23-year-old real estate worker who had been waiting at Shimbashi station for more than two hours. “This is troublesome.”

The weather agency warned of mudslides and flooding after the heavy rain. Kyodo reported more than 440 millimeters (17 inches) of rain had fallen in the city of Izu in Shizuoka prefecture in the past 24 hours.