Taiwan military rescues some 300 typhoon victims

CISHAN, Taiwan — Taiwan’s military rescued about 300 people Tuesday after a mudslide touched off by Typhoon Morakot consumed a village, but scores remained missing. A helicopter on a relief operation in the area crashed into a mountain with three crew aboard.

Chen Chung-hsien, an official in charge of the relief effort, said it was unclear if the two pilots and one technician had survived the crash near Wutai in Pingtung county, where the chopper was delivering food and trying to reach villagers.

Morakot, which triggered the worst flooding in Taiwan in 50 years, dumped as much as 80 inches (two meters) of rain at the weekend before moving on to China.

Taiwanese authorities put the confirmed death toll from Morakot at 50 and listed 58 people as missing, not including the residents missing in Shiao Lin, whose fate has been unclear since Sunday’s mudslide. At least 400 people there are unaccounted for. Access to the area — in the southern reaches of the island’s heavily foliated mountainous spine — is restricted to the military.

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