Hundreds of people are still missing in southern Taiwan in the wake of Typhoon Morakot. It is believed up to 90 people have died in the mudslides triggered by the typhoon that ravaged the country over the weekend.
Roads and bridges were destroyed in many areas. One local resident described the intensity of the mudslide: “The flood just came in, nobody could escape. There were about 32 people there.” Another man talked about the powerful torrents of water more than two meters high: “There used to be a house there. The flood waters reached the height of two people and even more.” Helicoptors dropped food and other supplies to survivors managed to scramble up nearby hills. Hundreds of villagers who were earlier listed as missing have been found alive in remote areas where roads were washed away and their homes engulfed by the driving mud.. Government officials including the Taiwanese President Ma Zing-jeou visited scenes of the disaster to assess damage first hand. The government dispatched special forces to help in the rescue efforts in the hardest hit areas. It was still unclear exactly how many people were buried and feared dead in villages in southern Taiwan.