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More than 80 dead as typhoons pound East Asia

Typhoons pummelling East Asia have killed at least 85 people, with rescuers in Taiwan battling to find survivors of a mudslide that may have buried about 100 villagers.

world Updated: Aug 12, 2009 08:54 IST

Typhoons pummelling East Asia have killed at least 85 people, with rescuers in Taiwan battling to find survivors of a mudslide that may have buried about 100 villagers.

A total of 62 people were confirmed dead in Taiwan and 58 were listed as missing, not counting the mudslide victims, after Typhoon Morakot unleashed the island’s worst flooding in half a century over the weekend.

At least 23 were killed as landslides and flooding left a trail of destruction in China and Japan, where officials feared more damage after a powerful earthquake loosened rain-soaked ground southwest of Tokyo.

A helicopter carrying three rescue personnel involved in typhoon relief efforts crashed in heavy fog in southern Taiwan, an official said, without giving details of casualties.

The Taiwanese government’s National Fire Agency said “about 100 people may have been buried alive” in the remote village of Hsiaolin, which could only be reached by helicopter with all road access to the mountainous area severed.

Rescuers said they had airlifted roughly 500 people to safety in southern Taiwan, including about 70 from Hsiaolin.