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Asia-Pacific

Chinese avert chemical spill as tropical storm Muifa heads for N Korea

media Winds lash Shanghai at the weekend Reuters/Aly Song

A toxic chemical spill has been averted on China’s north-east coast, officials said Monday, as tropical storm Muifa raged offshore. Earlier four people were killed in South Korea.

Workers repaired a dyke protecting a Fujia Group plant in the port city of Dalian, Liaoning province, after it was breached by high waves caused by the storm’s approach. The factory makes parxylene, a flammable, carcogenic liquid used in polyester production.

Residents had been moved from the area because of the danger of a spill.

Muifa had been expected to make landfall in Liaoning but forecasters predicted Monday that it would hit North Korea in the evening. It gradually weakened from a typhoon to a tropical storm, having wreaked havoc in China and South Korea.

One person was missing in Zhejiang province, while hundreds of flights were cancelled at Shanghai airport. More than 100,000 people were moved from their homes in Shandong province.

Four people were reported dead and two missing in South Korea, where hundreds of power lines, trees and signposts were toppled. Power was cut to 320,000 south-western provinces.

North and South Korea were still recovering from the effects of summer rains last month.

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