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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

More bad news from Morakot

The amount of destruction caused by Typhoon Morakot continues to grow. Over 700 people are trapped, missing or may possibly be dead due to a mudslide that buried 2 Taiwanese villages. Rescue teams are still trying to rescue people from mountainous regions with much difficulty.

Search continues as 700 feared dead in Taiwan typhoon mudslide (Guardian)

The first witness accounts of the terrifying moment when a mudslide buried a Taiwanese village have emerged, as rescuers warned that more than 700 people were trapped and had possibly died in the incident caused by typhoon Morakot.

Helicopters have plucked about 300 people from mountainous Kaohsiung county, in the south of the island, but rescuers are still struggling to reach survivors as rain continues. One helicopter crashed into a mountain in nearby Pingtung county with three crew members on board.

One villager told Taiwan's China Times newspaper that she fled with her husband and baby minutes before their home was buried. "We heard two loud bangs ... The sky was filled with dust like a volcanic eruption, and flood waters, mud and rocks streamed onto the roads," she said.

Taiwanese media reports have indicated that as many as 10 villages may have been damaged by mudslides with a third village possibly having been buried.

In China, 10,000 homes were destroyed by the typhoon. The government was warning residents about the potential for additional damage due to persistent heavy rain.

TAIWAN: Typhoon Morakot causes severe flooding (Episcopal Life)
Although Morakot's path was over Taipei, it caused the most destruction in the southern region of Taiwan and along the island's mountain path. The storm swamped city streets before crossing the 112-mile-wide Taiwan Strait and hitting China, where it forced the evacuation of nearly 1 million people.

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