Typhoon Muifa, the ninth typhoon to hit China this year, was downgraded to Tropical Storm Muifa on Monday afternoon, but its heavy rain and 75-kilometer-an-hour winds were still dangerous enough to prompt the evacuation of more than 490,000 people in Liaoning and Shandong provinces in eastern China on Monday. In Shandong, authorities also called more than 20,000 fishing boats back to harbor.
Near the coastal city of Dalian in Liaoning province, the location of many Chinese and foreign manufacturing companies, tropical storm Muifa stirred up 65-foot waves that breached two sections of a dike near a petrochemical plant in the Jinzhou Industrial Zone.
Chinese officials say they prevented a toxic spill by sending more than 1,000 firefighters, troops and border guards to plug the holes with thousands of tons of rocks and concrete slabs, Singapore's Today newspaper reports. Liaoning province recently had to deal with an oil spill from two offshore platforms.
No deaths have been reported in China, but four people died and two others went missing in Seoul, South Korea, after the storm passed over that city on Monday. Winds toppled hundreds of power lines, signposts and trees, and power was cut to 320,000 houses in southwestern provinces in South Korea, according to China Daily.
The tropical storm made landfall in neighboring North Korea before moving into northeastern China. North Korea is still recovering from summer rains and floods that have killed 30 people, destroyed more than 6,750 houses and inundated more than 48,000 hectares (120,000 acres) of farmland, Agence France-Presse reports.
By early Tuesday the storm had moved further north to Jilin province and the wind had died down to 47 kilometers per hour, the Associated Press reports.