Power Outages, Damage as Typhoon Hinnamnor Hits South Korea

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP
TT

Power Outages, Damage as Typhoon Hinnamnor Hits South Korea

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Typhoon Hinnamnor made landfall in South Korea early Tuesday, causing power outages and leaving one person missing, but with few early reports of major damage as it headed back to sea.

The typhoon, one of the most powerful to bear down on the country in decades, hit the country's southern island of Jeju overnight before making landfall near the port city of Busan, which was battered by huge waves and heavy rain, damaging beachfront roads and shops, AFP said.

The typhoon was moving at a speed of 43 meters per second when it made landfall, authorities said.

A 25-year-old man went missing after falling into a rain-swollen stream in the eastern coastal city of Ulsan, the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters said.

As a precaution, authorities closed more than 600 schools nationwide, and local carriers grounded some 250 domestic flights -- but service gradually resumed Tuesday as Hinnamnor headed towards Japan.

North Korea had also been bracing for the storm, with leader Kim Jong-un overseeing a meeting in Pyongyang to assess the country's disaster response preparedness, official state media reported Tuesday.

Kim said boosting Pyongyang's disaster response was crucial as "nothing is more precious... than the people's life and safety," the Korean Central News Agency said.

Experts say North Korea is particularly vulnerable to flooding and heavy rains due to deforestation and poor irrigation.

On Tuesday morning, the typhoon was over the Sea of Japan, known as the East Sea in Korea, 100 kilometers (62 miles) off Tsushima island of Nagasaki prefecture in southwestern Japan, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

More than 35,000 households were without power in Japan's southwestern Kyushu region, Kyushu Electricity said in a statement.

Packing gusts of up to 180 kilometers per hour, it was moving northeast at a speed of 45 kph and was expected to bring heavy rains to western Japan on Tuesday.

Some of Japan's famed bullet trains were suspended due to strong winds and rain, and many local trains also paused service, operator JR Kyushu said.

At least 120 flights departing and landing at Kyushu's airport were cancelled, public broadcaster NHK reported.



Drive to End Global Hunger Has Stalled, United Nations Warns

A goal to eliminate global hunger by 2030 looks increasingly impossible to achieve today -(Reuters)
A goal to eliminate global hunger by 2030 looks increasingly impossible to achieve today -(Reuters)
TT

Drive to End Global Hunger Has Stalled, United Nations Warns

A goal to eliminate global hunger by 2030 looks increasingly impossible to achieve today -(Reuters)
A goal to eliminate global hunger by 2030 looks increasingly impossible to achieve today -(Reuters)

A goal to eliminate global hunger by 2030 looks increasingly impossible to achieve, with the number of people suffering chronic hunger barely changed over the past year, a UN report said on Wednesday.

The annual State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report said around 733 million people faced hunger in 2023 -- one in 11 people globally and one in five in Africa -- as conflict, climate change and economic crises take their toll.

David Laborde, director of the division within the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which helps prepare the survey, said that although progress had been made in some regions, the situation had deteriorated at a global level.

"We are in a worse situation today than nine years ago when we launched this goal to eradicate hunger by 2030," he told Reuters, saying challenges such as climate change and regional wars had grown more severe than envisaged even a decade ago.

If current trends continue, about 582 million people will be chronically undernourished at the end of the decade, half of them in Africa, the report warned.

A broader objective to ensure regular access to adequate food has also stalled over the past three years, with 29% of the global population, or 2.33 billion people, experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity in 2023.

Underscoring stark inequalities, some 71.5% of people in low-income countries could not afford a healthy diet last year, against 6.3% in high-income countries.

While famines are easy to spot, poor nutrition is more insidious but can nonetheless scar people for life, stunting both the physical and mental development of babies and children, and leaving adults more vulnerable to infections and illnesses.

Laborde said international aid linked to food security and nutrition amounted to $76 billion a year, or 0.07% of the world's total annual economic output.

"I think we can do better to deliver this promise about living on a planet where no one is hungry," he said.

Regional trends varied significantly, with hunger continuing to rise in Africa, where growing populations, myriad wars and climate upheaval weighed heavily. By contrast, Asia has seen little change and Latin America has improved.

"South America has very developed social protection programs that allows them to target interventions so they can effectively move out of hunger in a very fast way," said FAO's chief economist Maximo Torero.

"In the case of Africa, we have not observed that."

The United Nations said the way the anti-hunger drive was financed had to change, with greater flexibility needed to ensure the countries most in need got help.

"We need to change how we do things to be better coordinated, to accept that not everyone should try to do everything but really be much more focused on what we are doing and where," said Laborde.

The report is compiled by the Rome-based FAO, the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development, its Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization and World Food Program.