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Typhoon Kai-tak Weakens in China After 500,000 Evacuated

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Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Typhoon Kai-tak weakened into a tropical depression after blowing over houses, triggering floods and causing more than 500,000 people to be evacuated as it swept through the south of China.

The typhoon will continue to cause rainstorms in Yunnan province and China’s southern regions today, after weakening when it reached northern Vietnam at 2:00 p.m. China time yesterday, the China Meteorological Administration said.

A cold weather front will hit northern China over the next two days, bringing heavy rainfall to the region while “scorching” weather will persist in the south, Xinhua said in a report today, citing the meteorological center. Temperatures will rise above 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of Chongqing municipality and Guangdong and Hubei provinces and most areas south of the Yangtze River, according to the report.

Floods triggered by the typhoon caused the emergency evacuation of 526,000 people in the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hainan, while more than 3,000 houses collapsed in its wake, the Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday, citing the Ministry of Civil Affairs. It caused one death while two people remain missing, according to the report.

In the southwestern province of Guangxi, the typhoon affected more than 1.26 million people in 26 counties, damaged more than 134,470 hectares (332,281 acres) of crops and caused economic losses estimated at 608 million yuan ($96 million), Xinhua said, citing an unidentified official from the regional civil affairs bureau.

More than 700 villagers near Qinzhou, a port city about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of China’s border with Vietnam, were trapped in their homes, Xinhua said in a separate report.

Flooding due to the typhoon rains affected more than 60,000 in districts near Qinzhou, with more than 8,700 people evacuated to safety, according to the Xinhua report, which cited flood control authorities.

Hong Kong on Aug. 17 lowered its tropical cyclone warning, first to a No. 3 Strong Wind Signal and then to a No. 1 Standby Signal, as Typhoon Kai-tak passed, the Hong Kong Observatory said on its website.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Daryl Loo in Beijing at dloo7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at ptighe@bloomberg.net