Hundreds Rescued from Taiwan Mudslides

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2009 1:22 AM CDT
A statue of Buddha's head is seen submerged in flood water and debris from Typhoon Morakot at a temple in Kaohsiung County in southern Taiwan.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Some 700 people feared dead in Taiwan's mudslides have been found alive and rescued from the disaster zone, the BBC reports. Military helicopters have been evacuating people from rural areas in southern Taiwan, where mudslides caused by Typhoon Morakot engulfed several mountain villages. Hundreds of other people are still missing and feared dead or trapped in their buried homes.

"We have found around 700 people alive in three villages last night and 26 more this morning," a rescue official said. "We are deploying 25 helicopters to evacuate them." Roads and bridges were washed out by the worst flooding Taiwan has seen in 50 years, leaving helicopters as the only way in and out of the stricken villages.