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SHAKE AND BLOW
S. Korea on alert as major typhoon Bolaven nears
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Aug 27, 2012


Cyclone Beatrice hits northern Italy
Rome (AFP) Aug 26, 2012 - Cyclone Beatrice struck northern Italy on Sunday, causing light flooding, storms and a mini-tornado but also providing much needed cooling after a weeks-long heatwave.

Farmers and vintners hampered by the drought looked forward to Beatrice, which succeeded Lucifer, an anticyclone with winds that spiral out from a high-pressure centre, which had brought hot air from the Sahara Desert.

The cyclone is expected to move slowly toward the south of Italy, lowering temperatures and causing storms next weekend.

Some roads and highways were flooded in the centre-north of the country, causing delays for Italians returning home from summer holidays.

A mini-tornado also ravaged the renowned botanical gardens of Villa Taranto on the shore of Lake Maggiore, uprooting 250 plants and destroying others at the arboretum visited by 150,000 people each year.

South Korea was Monday bracing for major typhoon Bolaven, with a main port and ferry routes closed, classes cancelled, a military exercise suspended and officials put on high alert.

Typhoon Bolaven -- one of the region's most powerful storms in decades -- was churning towards the peninsula after lashing Japan's Okinawa island with heavy rain and wind, knocking out power, and injuring at least five people.

One man died on Japan's nearby island of Amami, Kagoshima prefecture, after being swept away by a swollen river, the Kyodo news agency reported.

The typhoon, with winds of up to 173 kilometres (107 miles) per hour, was expected to hit South Korea from late Monday to early Wednesday before reaching North Korea, Seoul's weather service said.

A joint military exercise with the US has been suspended until weather conditions improve, the Combined Forces Command said in a statement, according to the Yonhap news agency.

South Korea's defence ministry earlier said personnel in the path of the typhoon had been ordered to take shelter and move planes and ships to safer areas.

In the southern port city of Busan authorities Monday banned all ships from entering the docks until the storm passes. Large ships were advised to move elsewhere out of the storm's path.

The transportation ministry said 68 of the country's 87 sea ferry routes had been cancelled. Airport authorities were checking runways and other facilities.

A state disaster relief board raised its alert to the highest level, meaning more officials will be on watch.

Some 140 flights on Monday and Tuesday, mostly to or from the southern resort island of Jeju, were cancelled.

President Lee Myung-Bak called for "thorough preparation" to minimise damage and prevent casualties.

In Seoul and the western port city of Incheon, all schools were ordered closed Tuesday.

The typhoon will dump as much as 500 millimetres (20 inches) of rain in some parts of the nation from Monday to Wednesday and bring strong winds and high tides, the weather service said.

Storm alerts will be issued in most parts of the country by Monday night.

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SHAKE AND BLOW
Taiwan braces for return of Typhoon Tembin
Taipei (AFP) Aug 26, 2012
Taiwan warned Sunday that Typhoon Tembin was likely to return as people struggled to clear mud-filled homes after the storm pounded the south of the island with the heaviest rains in more than a century. The storm appeared to be heading back towards Pingtung county where people were still reeling from the flooding sparked by Tembin when it swept across the southern tip of the island Friday. ... read more


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