Public anger over rescue operations in Taiwan’s typhoon disaster is mixed with desperation for victims’ relatives. While the sky cleared over the worst-struck south of the country, the emergency airlift has been slow to reach survivors in remote mountain villages.
The official death toll is past the hundred mark after terrible rain scoured Taiwan at the weekend, bringing floods and mudslides. Cut off from her family, one woman pleaded: “They need to be rescued as soon as possible. They cannot wait. If it rains again, the mountain will probably collapse.” Although thousands of the stranded have been saved, the fate of many others is not yet known. The storm shattered communication links, roads and bridges and swept homes into rivers. The military said it has more than 34,000 personnel and 382 helicopters in the field. Family members scour lists for names, the relatives of three rescue workers killed were among the grieving. When their helicopter crashed, the mother of one of them said witnesses at the wreckage heard screams for help but had no one to report it to, and no one to call for help. Typhoon Morakot has also claimed lives in the Philippines and China.