By Alex Jensen
SEOUL (AA) - Six people were confirmed dead Thursday after Typhoon Mitag hit South Korea from the previous night, also adding to worries about containing the country's African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.
Several more people were reported missing amid heavy winds, rain and landslides according to local news agency Yonhap, while over 44,000 homes lost power as the powerful storm swept across the peninsula.
Meanwhile, with two more South Korean cases of ASF confirmed on Thursday, fears rose that the typhoon would make it even harder for quarantine officials to prevent the spread of the highly infectious disease, which is fatal to pigs.
There have now been 13 confirmed ASF cases in the South since the country's first ever infection was detected less than three weeks ago.
It is not known how the disease spread to South Korea, but all local infections have been close to the border with North Korea, which saw its own first ASF outbreak months earlier.
"As the effects of the quarantine operations have significantly weakened due to the typhoon, we need to stay alert," Agricultural Minister Kim Hyeon-soo was quoted as saying by Yonhap.
ASF has been spreading through Asia since its emergence in China last year.