Typhoon Morakot Kills 62, Injures 35 in Taiwan
A collapsed hotel building is seen in floods after Typhoon Morakot hit eastern Taiwan August 9, 2009. The six-story hotel collapsed and plunged into a river Sunday morning after floodwaters eroded its base, but all 300 people in the hotel were evacuated and uninjured, officials said. (Xinhua/Wu Jingteng)
At least 62 people were killed and 57 others are missing in Taiwan as of 8 p.m. Tuesday local time after Morakot, the worst typhoon to hit the region in nearly five decades, swept across the island.
Another 35 people were injured after the typhoon hit much of the central-south part of the island. The casualty list did not include a crew of three on board a helicopter that crashed during a disaster-relief mission in southern Pingdong.
Powerful wind paralyzed the power supply for 1.58 million households as of 6:30 p.m. Monday, 1.51 million of which have restored power. Typhoon Morakot also damaged telecom facilities in central-south Taiwan, according to local disaster-relief authorities.
According to statistics released by local agriculture authorities, as of 10 a.m. Tuesday local time, losses in the agricultural and fishery sectors stood at about 6.85 billion New Taiwan Dollars (about 209 million U.S. dollars).
Disaster-relief centers have dispatched helicopters to transport villagers and air-drop goods in mountainous regions in central-south Taiwan where roads and bridges were destroyed by floods.
People have started to repair homes and infrastructure in parts of central-south Taiwan where water started to retreat, local media reported.
In Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pingdong, the water supply for 710,000 households was cut off by flood and it was estimated that at least 24 hours are needed to bring the system back to normal.
People from a wide range of social sectors including government, enterprises, entertainment and TV stations donated cash and goods worth millions of New Taiwan Dollars to support disaster-relief work.
Red Cross organizations on both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan have called for people to make donations in relieving the disaster.
An agricultural company in Fujian Province said it was contacting authorities in Kaohsiung County amid its attempt to send vegetables to Taiwan.
In Mount Ali, a renowned and popular scenic spot, 16 mainland tourists trapped during the typhoon were evacuated Tuesday afternoon.
The Kuomintang party on Tuesday thanked the mainland for the latter's concern over Taiwan's losses in typhoon Morakot.
Cross-Straits goodwill and interaction displayed in times of major disaster should be cherished by people on both sides, read the letter written by Kuomintang.
On Tuesday, the mainland-based Cross-Straits Agricultural Exchange Association sent its condolences to farmers and fishermen who suffered losses in typhoon Morakot via a letter forwarded to the Taiwan Farmer's Association.
The mainland association said it was willing to provide necessary assistance in disaster-relief and reconstruction based on the needs of the Taiwan association.
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