Miracle Escape: 1,000 found safe from Taiwan typhoon

  PortoNovo KajaNazimudeen
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Miracle escape from Morakot: 1,000 found safe after landslides obliterate their villages in Taiwan typhoon

Rescuers have found nearly 1,000 people alive in the area around three remote Taiwanese villages devastated by Typhoon Morakot.

Hundreds more are missing and feared dead in Kaohsiung county, which bore the brunt of the storm.

While other areas of the country were hit hard, rescuers were focusing their efforts on Kaohsiung, believing most of those unaccounted for could be trapped there.

Damaged buildings are seen today after Typhoon Morakot swept Kaohsiung county, southern Taiwan

Taiwanese people run out of a rescue helicopter after fleeing from the flooded village of Namaxia following Typhoon Morakot today

But continuing heavy rains were wreaking havoc on their efforts.

Today, only a few dozen army helicopters were able to ferry survivors to safety in Cishan, where a makeshift landing zone was set on at a school.

The day before 300 people who escaped mudslides and still looked dazed were plucked from Shiao Lin village and its surroundings.

Since that rescue, another 270 people have been spotted near the village, which was destroyed by a mudslide Sunday.

Major General Hu Jui-chou said 500 survivors were also found in Min Tzu and 200 in Chin He.

A farmer keeps ducks in the submerged kitchen in the flooded Pingyao town in east China's Zhejiang province yesterday. China says over 11 million people are affected by the disasters brought by the typhoon

A man walks along the bank of a river filled with wood and debris washed down by Typhoon Morakot in Chishen, Kaohsiung county, southern Taiwan, today

Morakot, which means ‘emerald’ in the Thai language, struck the Philippines, Taiwan and China and left at least 93 people dead, most of them in Taiwan.

The official death toll in Taiwan is 61, but that figure is likely to rise substantially once the search for survivors has ended.

More than 80in of rain was dumped on the island before moving on to China, where authorities evacuated 1.5million people and some 10,000 homes were destroyed.

A major concern for relief officials remained Shiao Lin, cut off from the outside world since Sunday’s mudslides.

Video taken by TV station ETTV showed the village buried in tons of mud and rubbles, with only two of its structures left standing.

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Swamp: Part of the flooded village of Shao Lin where 400 are feared dead

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A massive landslide is seen across a mountain road in Pingtung county, southern Taiwan, yesterday

The only sign of life in the village, the ETTV video showed, was a sodden cat hiding in a crack under the rubble.

Luo Shun-chi, 36, who escaped from Shiao Lin shortly after Sunday’s mudslide, said he did not know how many of his fellow villagers remained alive.

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 didn’t offer any evidence to back up that claim.

Luo said that whatever the Shiao Lin death toll, he was never going back.

Enlarge

Flooding and landslides caused by Typhoon Morakot have also affected China. Here, people get a ride on a bulldozer driving through a flooded area in Cangnan county, in east China's Zhejiang province, yesterday

‘The place is finished,’ he said. ‘There is no way I could return.’

Outside of Taiwan, Morakot also claimed 22 lives in the Philippines.

After pummeling Taiwan, Morakot slammed into China’s Fujian province, bringing heavy rain and winds of 74mph, according to the China Meteorological Administration.

It said direct economic losses have been estimated at 9.7 billion yuan (£850million).

Enlarge

Deadly: Typhoon Morakot is shown passing directly over Taiwan towards China

Location: The island state of Taiwan, east of China

Enlarge

Trapped: A soldier searches for victims among buried wood carried by the mudslide

The heavy rains triggered a massive landslide in Pengxi, a town in Wenzhou city of eastern China’s Zhejiang province, destroying seven three-story apartment buildings at the foot of a mountain.

A separate storm, Typhoon Etau, moved away from Japan’s eastern coast today after killing at least 18 people and leaving nine others missing, officials said.

Most were swept away by rain-swollen rivers or killed in landslides and floods, police said.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1205758/Typhoon-Morakot-Miracle-700-people-safe-landslides-obliterate-villages-Taiwan-typhoon.html#ixzz0NzcpWMQB


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