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August 17, 2017

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51 houses in Taitung disappear into Pacific

TAITUNG, Taiwan -- Over 500 residents in southeastern Taitung County were evacuated to safety in time yesterday, but 51 houses were flushed into the Pacific by the raging water of swelling Taimali River brought by torrential rains from Typhoon Morakot.

At the repeated prodding of police and rescue workers, the aboriginal residents of Jialan Village in Chinfong Township of Taitung were reluctantly relocated in time.

Massive floods from the Taimali River soon wreaked havoc on the community, destabilizing most of the two-floor brick and cement houses.

According to the latest count, 51 housing units were driven into the Pacific while more were tilted or destroyed.

Some residents couldn't believe that their houses simply disappeared right before their own eyes.

A police officer said he could not imagine what would happen if the villagers refused to heed advice to move to safety at a temporary shelter.

The same village was attacked by an earlier flood only four years ago when 17 houses and a church were flushed away by flash flood.

The reconstructions of many of the destroyed houses have not yet been completed.

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