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(2nd LD) Typhoon Muifa passes S. Korea along west coast, killing 4

All Headlines 17:45 August 08, 2011

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout)

SEOUL, Aug. 8 (Yonhap) -- Typhoon Muifa passed South Korea's capital of Seoul along the peninsula's west coast Monday evening, leaving at least four dead and two others missing as it proceeded northward toward China, the meteorological office and the emergency control agency said.

Muifa, the ninth typhoon of the year spawned in the West Pacific, was heading northward from waters 90 kilometers west of Yeonpyeong Island, a western island located far north of Seoul, as of 3 p.m., according the Korea Meteorological Administration.

The typhoon is expected to move further north to reach lands 239km northwest of China's northern city of Tianjin by late Tuesday, moving at a speed of 27km per hour, according to the weather authority.

As Muifa's influence waned and no further damage was reported, the office lifted most of its typhoon warnings across the country, including those for Seoul and its surrounding province of Gyeonggi as of 4:30 p.m.

Among the typhoon's casualties before it reached the central area Monday morning was a 75-year-old man found dead late Sunday on Wan Island, located at the southern tip of South Jeolla Province, after going missing while trying to moor a 1-ton ship in stormy seas, the National Emergency Management Agency said.

Two more people were killed in the same province as Muifa battered southern cities along the lower half of South Korea's west coast on Sunday. One more was reported dead in the southern port city of Busan in the aftermath of torrential rains and strong winds that accompanied the typhoon, according to the agency.

Two people remained missing after being swept away by stormy seas, the agency noted.

Hundreds of flights between Jeju Island and Seoul were canceled due to the typhoon and ensuing heavy rains on Sunday while passenger ships and other fishing boats were also moored in the Yellow Sea.

Some 220 people were left homeless in the southern coastal city of Yeosu after a downpour accompanying Muifa flooded their homes. South Jeolla Province, one of the regions hit hardest from the typhoon, reported power failure for some 150,000 households and several ruined roads.

Seoul-Jeju flights fully resumed from 6:10 a.m. on Monday as Muifa's influence on the scenic island waned, according to airport officials.

But 15 flights departing Incheon International Airport bound for Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, were canceled in the morning due to the typhoon.

Dozens of flights connecting Seoul to southern cities like Gimhae and Ulsan were also grounded, according to airport officials.


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