The story appears on

Page A2

August 12, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Nation

Sad hunt for Taiwan's missing

HELICOPTERS ferried stricken villagers to safety yesterday from remote Taiwan communities hit by Typhoon Morakot that left at least 62 people dead on the island, but hundreds more were still feared trapped by a torrent of mud and rock that buried their homes.

Choppers hovered over affected villages looking for signs of life.

While rain was still falling, floodwaters receded yesterday, and many of the aircraft were landing to send out squads of soldiers to look for survivors.

One helicopter crashed into a mountain as it flew on a mission to rescue villagers from the island's heavily wooded south, which was worst hit by the storm. Disaster official Chen Chung-hsien said it was unclear if the two pilots and one technician had survived the crash.

Morakot dumped as much as 2 meters of rain over the weekend in Taiwan, the worst flooding in 50 years. It then moved on to the Chinese mainland, where authorities evacuated 1.5 million people and some 10,000 homes were destroyed.

Eight people have died in three provinces in the mainland's east, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.

Taiwan officials put the confirmed death toll from Morakot at 62 and listed 57 people as missing, but that does not include residents in the village of Shiao Lin, where several hundred remain unaccounted for after a mudslide buried their farming settlement on Sunday.

Officials said more than 300 people were brought out yesterday on up to 120 helicopter flights to an improvised landing zone.

After pummeling Taiwan, Morakot slammed into the mainland's Fujian Province, bringing heavy rain and winds of 119 kilometers per hour, according to the China Meteorological Administration.

Authorities ordered 1.5 million people to leave the area, sending them to schools, government offices, hospitals and the homes of relatives, where they will remain until the rain stops and waters recede, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.

Morakot damaged or destroyed more than 10,000 homes and flooded over 400,000 hectares of cropland, the ministry said.

According to the ministry, direct economic losses have been estimated at 9.7 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion).

The heavy rains triggered a massive landslide in Pengxi, a town in Wenzhou City in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, destroying seven three-story apartment buildings at the foot of a mountain late Monday, an official surnamed Chen from the Pengxi government said.

An unknown number of residents were buried in the landslide, though Chen put the number at six. All were pulled out alive but two later died of their injuries, he said.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend