Typhoon Maysak could hit South Korea at Cat 3 strength

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Typhoon Maysak is strengthening as it heads towards the Japanese Ryukyu Islands, after which it is expected to continue north towards the Busan region of South Korea, with the latest forecasts suggesting sustained winds of as much as 115 mph could be experienced at landfall.

It’s the second major typhoon threat for the Korean peninsula in just one week, after typhoon Bavi grazed western South Korea with winds around 95 mph, but ended up passing by and coming ashore in North Korea with damaging impacts.

Typhoon Maysak, named typhoon Julian in the Philippines, is south of Okinawa prefecture in Japan and expected to barrel through the Ryukyu Islands with winds potentially as high as Category 4 strength, with sustained speeds of as high as 140 mph and higher gusts.

The Ryukyu Islands aren’t expected to hinder typhoon Maysak too much at this stage, with the storm expected to only slowly weaken as it heads northwards.

At this time a landfall early Wednesday morning local time is expected to be with winds at sustained speeds of as much as 115 mph, which would make typhoon Maysak a weak-end Category 3 equivalent storm.

Typhoon Maysak forecast path and intensity

Forecasts suggest that wind gusts could be as high as 140 mph, while storm surge would be expected to be significant with a storm of this size.

Widespread disruption is expected and typhoon Maysak is forecast to make landfall in the southeast, somewhere between South Gyeongsang and Busan.

Landfall location will be critical in whether typhoon Maysak creates a significant economic impact and ultimately insurance and reinsurance market losses.

Some of the coastal cities in the region are large, but if it misses them the main effects of typhoon Maysak could be felt in a less populated, rural area. The port city of Busan is a particularly high region of economic values, which could exacerbate insurance or reinsurance impacts, should Maysak’s forecast path veer in the direction of the city.

Either way, widespread disruption is expected, with the chance of property damage that could drive some impacts to insurance and reinsurance interests in South Korea.

If Maysak does make landfall in South Korea, which looks likely based on the forecast at this time, it would be the fourth named tropical storm to do so this year, which would tie for the record number of tropical storm landfalls in the country in a single year.

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