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Typhoon Rusa ravages South Korea

Torrential downpours and winds clocked as high as 137 kilometers per hour spread across the eastern and southern regions of Korea Saturday. Typhoon Rusa (Malaysian word for deer), the most powerful storm to hit the peninsula in 43 years, has left at least 158 people dead or missing according to The National Disaster Prevention and Countermeasures Headquarters, and over 27,000 people homeless. Heavy storms felled some 10,000 electricity poles, leaving over a million households without electricity over the weekend. The eastern province of Gangwon sustained the worst damage with river overflow flooding some 10,000 houses and 24,000 hectares of farmland. Destruction to crops has worried people about a shortage of crops and potable water and a subsequent rise in prices for the upcoming Korean Thanksgiving of Chuseok. The Minister of the Government Administration and Home Affairs Lee Geun-sik announced that W2 to W3 trillion was needed for flood repair and compensation. In an effort to keep commodity prices in check, the government announced it would operate a flexible macroeconomic policy to maintain a national inflation rate of less than 3%. It also decided to release government stockpiles of agricultural and marine goods by up to 200% more than usual, and offer them at lower than market prices.

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