Typhoon Morakot kills 103, injures 45 in Taiwan


Rescuers help a man at Chishan evacuation centre, Kaohsiung county, after he was evacuated by military helicopter from a landslide-affected village in southern Taiwan following Typhoon Morakot, August 12, 2009.



The death toll in Taiwan after typhoon Morakot swept across the island surged to 103 as of 9 p.m. Wednesday after rescuers found 32 bodies in southern Kaohsiung County, local media reported.


At least 61 people are missing and another 45 injured after Typhoon Morakot, the worst in the region for half a century, wreaked havoc across the central and southern regions, local disaster-relief authorities said.


Typhoon Morakot has caused more than 8.8 billion New Taiwan Dollars (about 267 million U.S. dollars) in agricultural damage, according to local agricultural authorities. Hundreds of roads and bridges on the island have been destroyed by floods, and disaster-relief centers have dispatched helicopters to transport villagers and air-drop goods in those regions.


In parts of central-south Taiwan where water has started to retreat,  people are returning to repair homes and infrastructure, local media reported.


People from a wide range of social sectors including government, enterprises, entertainment and TV stations have donated cash and goods worth millions of New Taiwan Dollars to support the disaster-relief work.


On Wednesday, member companies of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) donated more than 100 million yuan (14.6 million U.S. dollars) and 5 million HK dollars (645,000 U.S. dollars) for the island's typhoon relief.


The Red Cross Society of the mainland also offered 15 million yuan (2.2 million U.S. dollars) to the island's Red Cross organization.

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