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Dianmu Weakens After 3 Reported Dead in South Korea

Aug. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Tropical Storm Dianmu weakened as it passed over the southern coast of South Korea, the nation’s weather agency said on its website.

Sustained winds slowed to 86.4 kilometers (54 miles) per hour as Dianmu moved toward Pusan overnight, the Korea Meteorological Administration said in a bulletin at 9 a.m. Seoul time. Three people died and more than 100 buildings were flooded, leaving 200 people stranded during the night, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing Korea’s National Emergency Management Agency.

Dianmu was about 317 kilometers south-southwest of Seoul and moving northeast toward Pusan at 30 kph, according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency. It will head out into the Sea of Japan and is forecast to skirt Japan’s northern coastline from tomorrow, the agency said.

The storm yesterday passed China’s northeast coast in the East China Sea, dumping more rain in Shandong province, where torrential downpours on Aug. 8 forced the evacuation of 158,000 residents, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs said.

More than 159,000 hectares of farmland have been damaged and 3,000 homes have collapsed in Shandong, the ministry said.

Flooding caused by heavy rain has been the deadliest in more than a decade, killing 1,450 people throughout China this year as of Aug. 6, the ministry said. More than 660 people are missing after floods demolished 1.36 million homes and damaged 13.5 million hectares (33.3 million acres) of agricultural land, causing 275 billion yuan ($40.6 billion) of damage.

Last week in North Korea, floods wrecked thousands of homes, public buildings and factories and submerged about 14,850 hectares of farmland, North Korea’s state-run Korea Central News Agency reported on Aug. 6. Railways were blocked, power equipment broken and bridges destroyed in the deluge, the news service said.

Dianmu is the goddess who commands thunder and lightning in Chinese mythology, according to the website of the Hong Kong Observatory, which lists names assigned to cyclones in the South China Sea and northwestern Pacific.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stuart Biggs in Tokyo at sbiggs3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Banker at bbanker@bloomberg.net; Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net.

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