Typhoon Toraji Death Toll Climbs to 80
The death toll from Typhoon Toraji's rampage through Taiwan has risen by five to 80 and 132 people are still missing, officials said Thursday.
Hundreds of homes and thousands of hectares (acres) of farmland were destroyed by Toraji Monday, causing millions of US dollars in damage, the National Fire Administration (NFA) said.
At least 80 people had been confirmed dead as the search for missing continued into a fourth day, said the NFA, which coordinates major rescue operations in Taiwan.
The region of Hualien was the worst hit by mudslides while Nantou suffered serious flooding as water from swollen rivers inundated homes and farmland.
The Council of Agriculture said 1,366 hectares (3,374 acres) of fruit and vegetable farms in Hualian and eastern Taitung -- nearly half the total farmland in the two counties -- were wiped out at a cost of 126 million Taiwan dollars (3.6 million US).
Forestry losses amounted to 14 million Taiwan dollars, the council said.
The NFA said a preliminary estimate put total agricultural losses at 1.4 billion Taiwan dollars.
Toraji, packing winds of 150 kilometers (93 miles) per hour, struck the island with torrential rains which triggered massive mudslides described by villagers as the worst in 50 years.
It was the latest in a series of storms to batter Taiwan this typhoon season -- TAIPEI (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)