Severe storm hits southern South Korea

SEOUL (AFP) - A severe storm hit South Korea's southern regions Saturday, forcing flights to be grounded and causing property damage, weather authorities said.

The storm, packing winds of up to 90 kilometres an hour swept in from the Pacific dumping heavy downpours on the southern island of Jeju, bringing up to 868 milimeters (26.3 inches) of precipitation on Mount Halla.

More than 200 flights to and from Jeju were scrapped and all beaches were closed to bathers. The island is a popular destination for local and regional holidaymakers.

There were numerous reports of damaged roofs, shattered window panes, broken traffic lights and fallen trees on streets across the southern regions of South Korea.

Gale force winds also briefly cut power to some 1,600 households on Jeju on Saturday.

As the storm moves north, strong winds and heavy rains are expected in Seoul and its surrounding areas early next week, the weather authorities said.

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