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19 Guangdong tourists remain missing


1:33 pm
October 25, 2010



posts 215

The families of 19 Guangdong tourists missing in Typhoon Megi-triggered landslides in Taiwan were heading to the island yesterday, hoping for a miracle.

Contact was lost with the 19 members of a tour group from Zhuhai city at 10 p.m. Thursday, after the landslide occurred on Taiwan’s Suhua highway. They remained missing by press time yesterday. The tour guide and 16 tourists are Zhuhai residents while the other two are from Zhanjiang in western Guangdong.

The deputy secretary general of the mainland-based Cross-Straits Tourism Exchange Association led officials from Guangdong to Taiwan yesterday to coordinate the search effort.

Taiwan authorities said Saturday that rescuers had found mangled vehicle parts thought to be the bus carrying the 19 missing tourists. The bus passengers were among 23 people still missing on the island.

All 54 other tourists from the mainland, who were stranded following the landslides, were lifted out of danger by helicopters Saturday morning, Taiwan tourism authorities said. Thirty-five tourists from Shenzhen were among those lifted to safety.

Nine people, including two Buddhist nuns, were killed at the White Cloud Temple in Suao City, Taiwan, when a mudslide buried the building.

Fire control authorities in Taiwan’s Ilan County announced yesterday that rescuers had found a body along the Suao-Hualien Highway, increasing the number of deaths from Typhoon Megi to 13 on the island.

Authorities believe the dead woman was a local teacher.

Torrential rains drenched the southeastern coast of the Chinese mainland yesterday as the government downgraded Megi to a tropical depression and more than 300,000 evacuees waited to return to their battered homes.

Megi hit the mainland Saturday, dumping up to 33 centimeters of rain on coastal villages after earlier cutting a swath of destruction through the Philippines and Taiwan. At least 28 people died in the northern Philippines.

No deaths were reported on the Chinese mainland, but news reports said there was extensive damage to fishing boats and shellfish beds in coastal Fujian Province, where more heavy rain fell yesterday.

In the city of Zhangzhou in Fujian, officials estimated damage from the storm at 1.5 billion yuan (US$220 million), the Guangzhou Daily newspaper said.

Internet portal Sina.com cited a resident near the port of Gulei as saying some 2,000 fishing boats were damaged and unusable. Sina said its reporter saw uprooted trees, billboards torn down by high winds and flooded farmland.

Ferry services linking Xiamen, a coastal business center, with the outlying Taiwanese island of Jinmen resumed yesterday after a two-day suspension that stranded thousands of travelers, China News Service reported.

But the storm forced the cancellation of nearly 80 flights at the airport in Xiamen.

Megi bypassed Vietnam, but the country’s central provinces were battered by rain over the past week that killed at least 75 people and forced more than 170,000 from their homes.

Thailand also suffered flooding, with a death toll of at least 23.


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