SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Typhoon Haishen is veering towards Japan and is unlikely to make landfall in South Korea, the weather agency said on Saturday (Sept 5).
Currently packing top winds of 53m per second and with a central atmospheric pressure of 920 hectopascals, Haishen will be the first super typhoon this season.
It is stronger than typhoons Maysak and Bavi, which struck the country between late August and this week, and has been recognised as a super typhoon by the US Joint Typhoon Warning Centre.
On the KMA's five-point scale, Haishen is currently "very strong", the fourth-highest category on the scale, but is projected to intensify Saturday afternoon and become "super strong". Super strong is a new category introduced in May for typhoons with top winds exceeding 54m per second.
The weather agency had earlier projected a trek right through the peninsula for Haishen, saying it would make landfall on the southern coast Monday afternoon.
The KMA now says it is unlikely to come ashore here and instead will probably take a sea trek north from Japan. It is likely to reach 160km northeast of Busan around 9am on Monday and 150km northeast of Gangneung around 9pm that evening.
"Passing through Japan and approaching Korea, the typhoon could weaken to somewhere between 'super strong' and 'very strong'," the KMA said.
"Still, the entire Korean territory will be under its influence. The eastern areas, which will be closest to the typhoon's eye, should make thorough preparations," it added.
As of 9am on Saturday, Haishen was about 510km southeast of Okinawa, Japan, travelling northwest at a speed of 15km per hour.
It is forecast to hit the Japanese island of Kyushu on Sunday or Monday at close to its full intensity.