BEIJING, Aug 8 (Reuters) - A storm battering the northeast Chinese coast on Monday whipped up waves that burst through a dyke protecting a chemical plant, forcing residents to flee, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The waves slamming into the coast near the port city of Dalian in Liaoning province were brought by tropical storm Muifa as it skated off the coast, breaking a half-built dyke protecting the Jinzhou development zone near the city, Xinhua reported.
Border protection troops rushed to the site to prevent sea water from creating a spill of toxic chemicals from the Fujia industrial chemical plant, it said.
Troops and police also helped disperse nearby residents, said the report, which gave no details of any damage or injuries.
"We do not know anything about the spill, and we cannot say anything," said a woman working at the reception desk for the Fujia chemical company who was contacted by Reuters.
A serious chemical leakage would be a fresh headache for Liaoning, which recently suffered an oil spill from two offshore platforms.
Pollutants from that spill have been found spreading to beaches, and been blamed for losses to tourism and aquatic farming businesses, Xinhua reported in July.
So far, China has avoided any serious damage from Muifa, which weakened to a tropical storm from a typhoon as it approached the country's east coast over the weekend.
Shandong province, which is across the Bohai Sea from Liaoning province, moved hundreds of thousands of residents from coastal areas and ordered tens of thousands of boats and other vessels to stay in ports as the storm passed on Monday.
Earlier, the full brunt of the typhoon's core missed Shanghai, but strong gusts knocked down billboards and briefly cut power to at least two residential areas. (Reporting by Chris Buckley and Sally Huang; Editing by Ken Wills and Daniel Magnowski)