Typhoon Morakot Death Toll May Reach 500 in Taiwan
Typhoon Morakot hit Taiwan a week ago, brought heavy rain and caused floods as well as mudslides. It is estimated that 500 people have died. However, the number is not official, and there are wide discreprencies regarding the number of people missing.
On August 14, local officials estimated 350 people were in the village when mudslide occurred. Although there were 650 registered residents, many worked out of town. Some might have returned to the village for the Taiwanese Father's Day on August 8, but the total number would not have exceeded 398.
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-Jeou announced that 380 went missing in Shiao Lin Village. However, the Center for Disaster Responses disagreed with this number. According to them, 200 people were missing instead. The confirmed numbers were 117 deaths, 59 missings, and 45 injured, but as rescue teams reach diaster areas, the death toll is expected to raise. Death count is difficult to confirm because the bodies are buried under the mudslide. It is possible that the dig will not take place in Shiao Lin Village. Instead, a memorial park would be built.
The government announced that the reconstruction fund will cost at least $3 billion to $6 billion US dollar. The 921 earthquake in 1999 that devistated Taiwan cost a total of more than $6 billion USD.