South Korea has been hammered by a strong typhoon that killed 12 people and left 10 missing and almost 200,000 homeless or without power.

The southwestern and south-central regions were the most badly hit. Off Jeju Island in the south, two Chinese fishing boats run aground because of strong winds and high waves. The coast guard was able to rescue 12 people, six swam ashore while 10 crew members are still missing. Five bodies have so far been recovered, according to AFP.

Public tranportation ground to a halt: 87 sea ferries were prohibited to leave ports and 247 flights have been cancelled since Monday. A US-South Korea joint military exercise was also temporarily halted.

Typhoon Bolaven is believed to be the strongest to have hit South Korea, with wind speeds reaching 144km (90 miles) per hour. Bolaven left early evening of Tuesday heading towards North Korea, which is still struggling to recover from drought and deadly floods earlier in the summer.