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Relief goods continue pouring in from abroad

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Relief goods continued to pour into Taiwan from abroad yesterday, while the United States is dispatching two heavy-lift helicopters, one of which is expected to arrive today to carry large crane excavators to the flood-ravaged area to help re-open blocked routes of transportation.

Hundreds of people are believed to remain marooned more than a week after Typhoon Morakot lashed Taiwan with record-breaking torrential rains, triggering massive landslides engulfing their remote villages.

An Emirates Airlines jetliner touched down at Taoyuan International Airport early in the morning with a batch of shelter boxes from the United Kingdom.

The shipment, which will be delivered to the disaster area, were donated by Britain's Shelter Box Trust, administered by the Helston-Lizard Rotary Club in Cornwall.

The shelter boxes contain a 10-person tunnel tent, 10 sleeping bags, and accessories including a multi-fuel cooker, water purifier, a spade and rope.

Taiwan's China Airlines airlifted a shipment of emergency supplies from Australia.

Richard Mathews, Australia's deputy representative in Taipei, handed over to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official the shipment of 200,000 water purification tablets, 5,040 buckets for treating water, 100 sanitizer spray packs that hold disinfectant and insect repellent. Alice Cawte, Australian representative in Taipei, presented the US$168,600 worth of water purification and disinfectant supplies at the Central Emergency Operation Center at noon.

Ma Chih-kuo, minister of transportation and communications who commands the center, accepted the donation on behalf of the government.

The Red Cross Society of Taiwan will help deliver the sanitation supplies.

Cawte said the Australian government hopes the emergency supplies will allow flood victims to enjoy clean drinking water and fight water-borne diseases.

A U.S. C-130 transport arrived at Tainan Air Force Base in the afternoon to deliver 120 rolls of plastic sheeting that can be used to make temporary shelter for victims of Taiwan's worst flood disaster in history.

The giant military transport aircraft flew in from Okinawa to airlift 15,200 pounds of plastic sheeting, a Ministry of National Defense official said.

It was the first U.S. military aircraft to have arrived in Taiwan after the United States cut off diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979.

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 Relief goods continue pouring in from abroad 
Pingtung County health officials reported Sunday two serious cases of swine flu, including the first such case involving a pregnant woman in Taiwan. (CNA)

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