Tropical storm floods southern Taiwan, 4 killed, 5 missing
July 18, 2008, 12:00 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Tropical storm Kalmaegi lashed southern Taiwan with torrential rains Friday, triggering flash floods and landslides. At least four people were killed and four others were washed away by rampaging waters, the government said.
Television footage showed water pouring down a mountain road, flooding a large area of Kaohsiung county in southern Taiwan. The Disaster Relief Center said a woman was rescued from a house buried in a landslide, but her 1-year-old daughter died. Another family member was buried and listed as missing.
Three people were drowned and two others were washed away by flood waters in Kaohsiung and Tainan, also in southern Taiwan, the center said.
After being rescued from their home, a man and a woman were missing after a police motorboat overturned in flood waters in Tainan county, the relief center said.
Water supplies were cut in the county for more than 650,000 households because of flooding, officials said.
Television showed firefighters using ladders to rescue several people trapped in a flooded house in coastal Yunlin county, and several drivers being rescued after hollering for help on top of their trucks in a flooded freeway in Taichung, central Taiwan.
Officials said several areas in the south recorded up to 44 inches (1,100 mm) of rains in the past 24 hours.
The storm started lashing Taiwan late Thursday. It headed away from Taiwan and toward southern China early Friday, packing winds of 52 miles per hour (83 kilometers per hour), the Central Weather Bureau said.
In the Philippines, the government disaster agency said two people died earlier this week as the storm pounded the country's northern corner with rain and strong winds.