August 8, 2011 in Nation/World

Typhoon downgraded as it nears China

Associated Press

BEIJING – Typhoon Muifa has been downgraded to a tropical storm and will make landfall this evening somewhere between northeastern China and western North Korea, China’s weather agency said.

The typhoon had already moved along China’s eastern coast and downed power lines, billboards and trees in Shanghai and brought heavy rain to coastal Shandong province on Sunday.

The Central Meteorological Station said Muifa was creating sea gusts of up to 63 mph and traveling at a speed of 15-18 mph.

Muifa will weaken after making landfall somewhere between Zhuanghe in Liaoning province and western North Korea this evening, the agency said.

Muifa will bring heavy rain to Liaoning, it said.

On Sunday, more than 600,000 people were ordered to evacuate in Shanghai and the provinces of Shandong, Zhejiang and Fujian, which line China’s east coast.

As Muifa skirted the coast, strong winds caused damage in Shanghai and disrupted transportation.

Hundreds of weekend flights were canceled in eastern China, and bus and train service was in disarray.

Last week, Typhoon Muifa killed four people in the Philippines without making landfall, and caused injuries and power outages when it passed the Japanese island of Okinawa on Friday.

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