South Korea warns of typhoon casualties

South Korea's weather agency warned there could be casualties as the nation prepares for the strongest storm in its history early Tuesday.

Super Typhoon Hinnamnor is expected to hit Jeju and Ulsan on South Korea's southeast coast after disrupting ports and air traffic in China and Japan.

Han Sang Un, chief forecaster at Korea Meteorological Administration, urged residents of southern coastal areas to stay indoors rather than perform storm preparations.

"It's a 400-kilometer typhoon that can cover Seoul to Busan. He predicted heavy rain and wind for most of Korea. The typhoon will hit Jeju at 1 a.m. local time Tuesday and southern coastal cities at 7 a.m.

Three reactors at the Kori Nuclear Power Plant were slowed to less than 30% to prepare for the storm, and liquefied natural gas traders expected delays to some shipments.

SK Innovation Co. has stopped crude ships from entering its Ulsan port and is working to secure backup power, a spokesman said. GS Caltex Corp. evacuated ships to a safety zone, and LG Chem Ltd. strengthened safety monitoring at its Yeosu and Ulsan plants.

State-owned Korea Electric Power Corp. ensured a stable electricity supply. Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. lowered output at the Kori nuclear plant to prevent disruptions if reactors are directly affected by Hinnamnor.

The storm, which is expected to be more destructive in South Korea than Typhoon Sarah in 1959, was 300 kilometres south-southwest off the coast of Jeju at noon Seoul time.

President Yoon Suk Yeol said the government will stay on its toes to protect citizens' lives and safety, while Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said the worsening weather may impact consumer prices when inflation is high.

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