World weatherwatch: typhoons raged as attention focused on Hurricane Dorian

Brendan Jones MetDesk
Photograph: Kyodo/Reuters

While Hurricane Dorian was grabbing attention last week, a powerful typhoon, Lingling, was strengthening over the South China Sea, becoming a super typhoon with sustained winds of nearly 140mph on Friday.

It made landfall on the Japanese Miyako islands, before weakening as it crossed the Korean peninsula at the weekend. Gusts reached 120mph on South Korea’s Heuksando island, and three people were reported to have been killed. Hundreds of square kilometres of farmland in North Korea were flooded by Lingling’s heavy rain, generating fears of failed crops and food shortages.

Days later Typhoon Faxai made landfall close to Tokyo. It affected the Chiba and Kanto regions of Japan last Sunday and Monday, bringing torrential rain and gusts of more than 120mph. More than 100 flights were cancelled, including that of the Australian rugby team arriving in preparation for the Rugby World Cup.

Meanwhile in Australia, dry conditions have sparked widespread bushfires that continued through the weekend. Across several regions of New South Wales and Queensland, dozens of homes and properties were destroyed. A firefighter was badly burned after his fire truck was engulfed by flames.