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Tropical Storm Kills 8 In China

Heavy winds and rain brought by Tropical Storm Kaemi have killed at least eight people and left 18 missing in southern China, state television said Wednesday, as a collapsed levee threatened six villages with possible flooding.

China Central Television said five of the deaths and all of those missing were in Jiangxi province, just inland from Fujian province, where Kaemi made landfall as a typhoon on Tuesday.

Three other deaths were in neighboring Guangdong province, the report said.

CCTV did not say when or how the people died, although the death toll appeared to include two people killed by a landslide in Guangdong's Wuhua County that were the first deaths reported from the storm.

Kaemi dissipated into a depression Wednesday but continued to inundate a wide slice of southern China.

Forecasters said the storm's outer band was expected to bring heavy rains across the region through Thursday.

Also Wednesday, Xinhua said the storm caused a 650-foot long levee in Zhao'an, a county in Fujian, to collapse and floods were threatening 20,000 residents in six villages.

More than 200 soldiers have been working on emergency repairs, it said.

By Wednesday evening, workers had filled the breach with more than 5,000 sandbags and piled on 60 tree stumps, Xinhua said. It did not give any more details.

When Kaemi roared ashore on Tuesday, Fujian was lashed with up to 10 inches of rain and battered by winds gusting at 67 mph, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

More than 640,000 people were evacuated in Fujian ahead of Kaemi's arrival and 44,000 fishing boats returned to port. There were no reports of death or serious damage in the province itself although more than two dozen flights out of the provincial capital, Fuzhou, were canceled on Tuesday and state television showed rivers rising and heavy surf along the coastline earlier in the day.

Among preparations, authorities sent more than 3 million mobile phone warnings to people living in the region, the government's chief rescue agency said on its Web site.

Also in Fujian, a group of businesses have inquired about registering Kaemi as a trademark for their goods, Xinhua said.

"The names of typhoons are always well known and enjoy great popularity, so companies can save money on advertising if they use a typhoon name as a trademark," Zheng Yi, the head of Fuzhou Kaitong Trademark Agency, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

The report did not say if the businesses had made a decision. The registration fee would be about $125 and the trademark would be valid for 10 years, Xinhua said.

Earlier, Kaemi dumped rain on the Philippines and Taiwan, knocking out power lines and swelling rivers.

In the Philippines, two people were reported missing and more than 27,000 were evacuated due to floods near the capital, Manila, the National Disaster Coordinating Council said.

Kaemi, named for the Korean word for ant, is the season's seventh typhoon.

It comes on the heels of Tropical Storm Bilis, which pounded southern China from July 14, triggering flooding and mudslides and killing more than 600 people.

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