Taipei: Rescue workers on 12 August began a massive searching for the hundreds of people feared buried in landslips in Taiwan and south-eastern China following two days of devastation wrought by the natural disaster, "Morakot" dumped 83 inches (2.1 meters) of rain on parts of the island, unleashing the worst flooding there in half a century.
The typhoon, which struck Taiwan on 07 August and moved into south-eastern China on 09 August, left at least 108 Taiwanese people dead, 45 injured, 62 missing and displaced more than one million people. Keary Huan, Taipei correspondent for The Tibet Post said today that up to 32 people were feared dead with buried in mud-slips in a mountain village in the south. She said yesterday more than 1000 people had been rescued so far.
According to state media, The military reported that it had traced some 1,000 villagers from the worst-hit village of Shiao Lin and two other stricken communities in the past two days. So far at least 300 of them have been airlifted to safety, said spokesman for relief operations Col. Chang Kuo-Bin. Hundreds more - nobody is sure how many - are still feared missing.
"On Wednesday, bad weather meant army helicopters could only manage a few dozen sorties to ferry survivors from the remote villages in the region's forested mountains to safety in the town of Cishan, where a makeshift landing zone has been set up in the grounds of a school."
"On Tuesday, a government helicopter crashed into a mountain as it flew on a rescue mission. All three crew aboard died."
Luo Shun-chi, 36, who escaped from Shiao Lin shortly after Sunday's mudslide, told reporters that he did not know how many of his fellow villagers survived or how many died.
He said that between 500 and 600 people were in Shiao Lin at the time of the disaster - far fewer than the 1,300 people listed in Taiwan's population registry.
Taiwan's National Fire Agency has said 100 people were under the mud in Shiao Lin, but has not offered any evidence to back up that claim.
Morakot, which means "emerald" in the Thai language, first struck the Philippines, where 22 died. After the typhoon hit Taiwan, it pounded eastern China with winds reaching 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour. Authorities evacuated 1.5 million people and some 10,000 homes were destroyed.