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Taiwan beefs up storm aid

August 13, 2009|Associated Press

CISHAN, TAIWAN — Taiwan's military airlifted survivors from remote mountain villages devastated by mudslides triggered by last weekend's Typhoon Morakot, and announced today that it was sending an additional 4,000 soldiers to help with the rescue effort.

The new troops will join the more than 10,000 soldiers already racing to save thousands of survivors stranded in several villages in the island's south, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. Rescue efforts have been slow because many bridges and roads to hard-hit villages collapsed or were washed out by raging floodwaters.

Typhoon Morakot dumped more than 80 inches of rain and unleashed the most devastating floods the island has seen in 50 years. The official death toll in Taiwan stood at 108, with 61 listed as missing. But several hundred more people remained unaccounted for and were feared lost in mudslides.

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