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Muifa downgraded to tropical storm, heads to coastal China

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Typhoon Muifa has already caused heavy rain and flooding across Japan and the Philippines.
  • NEW: State media: Authorities cancel flights and order boats to stay at port
  • China evacuates more than 600,000 residents along coastal areas
  • Muifa spares the financial hub of Shanghai
  • Once a typhoon, Muifa has been downgraded to a tropical storm

(CNN) -- China evacuated more than 600,000 residents along coastal areas and sent ships back to port as it braced for Tropical Storm Muifa, which pounded some areas with gusty winds and rains over the weekend, state media reported Sunday.

Muifa, once a typhoon, weakened Saturday and was eventually downgraded to a tropical storm. It spared the financial hub of Shanghai as it brushed past it. Rain and strong winds hit the city, however.

Landfall was expected Monday evening local time in Liaoning province.

But even as the storm weakened, authorities cancelled flights and ordered thousands of fishing boats to remain anchored in the eastern coastal province of Shandong, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

China braces for Typhoon Muifa
Okinawa braces for Typhoon Muifa
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  • China

Police rescued dozens of tourists stranded on an island off the port of Qingdao as water levels rose, submerging a bridge to the mainland, according to Xinhua.

The heaviest rain was over water Sunday. The storm was scheduled make landfall in Liaoning province Monday evening.

Eastern coastal areas can expect high winds over the next few days, Xinhua said.

Meanwhile, scorching heat is expected to linger in southern regions over the next few days, Xinhua reported. Areas affected include Jiangxi, Fujian and Guangdong provinces.

CNN's Ivan Cabrera contributed to this report.