Rescue crews find 700 safe after Taiwan mudslide

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - 11:40

Taiwan: About 700 people from the remote mountains of southern Taiwan have been found alive overnight after it was feared they may have been buried by mudslides, but many are still missing, an official said.
The survivors from four villages made it to higher ground before walls of mud and rock submerged their homes, said Hu Jui-chou, an army official involved in the rescue effort.

Among them are about 200 people from Hsiao Lin, a village in Kaohsiung county that was obliterated by a landslide, Hu said.

"They had already left the main village and gone to another one," he said, adding that they used satellite phones to locate the villagers. "We don`t need to rescue them. We can just send in food."

Others from the villages of Sanmin, Namahsia and Chinghe were also found safe.

But many are still missing, Hu said. Up to 600 were feared buried in the Hsiao Lin mudslide on Monday morning following heavy rains from Typhoon Morakot over the weekend.

On Monday and Tuesday, as hundreds of anxious relatives waited at a makeshift search and rescue base, helicopters brought survivors, many injured, back from the villages as slides had blocked the roads.

Rescue work will continue today.

The death toll since Morakot and tropical storm Etau cut a swathe through Asia has climbed to more than 100, including 63 in Taiwan.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - 11:40
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