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Tropical Storm Muifa Causes Casualties, Damage

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SEOUL, South Korea -- A powerful tropical storm destroyed houses, damaged crops and caused more than 10 deaths and injuries Tuesday in North Korea, already struggling after deadly flooding last month.

Tropical Storm Muifa made landfall in the country late Monday and was lashing northeastern China with torrential rain and wind as a weaker tropical depression.

China's National Meteorological Center said Muifa's winds gusted up to 52 miles per hour (83 kilometers per hour) overnight and the storm dropped up to 5 inches (135 mm) of rain in China's northeast, neighboring North Korea.

The depression should weaken further but winds still could gust up to 39 mph (62 kph) along the coast, the Chinese center said.

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency said Tuesday more than 2,400 acres of crops were damaged in one province. More than 100 housing units and 10 public buildings were destroyed in another. The brief report did not give more details on the deaths and injuries or how many of either was blamed on the storm.

Muifa earlier caused four deaths in the Philippines and four in South Korea, where two other people were missing.

Flooding and landslides caused by heavy rains in July heavily damaged homes and property on the Korean peninsula. North Korea reported about 30 deaths, and South Korea dozens more.

Before Muifa moved ashore, waves as high as 65 feet (20 meters) broke a dike in Dalian, China, that protected the Fujiahua chemical plant. Chinese authorities said the dike was reinforced with stones and concrete and the danger was under control.

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