Typhoon Morakot has claimed more than 500 lives in Taiwan since the storm hit the island’s southern region a week ago. Thousands more may still be trapped, according to local reports, making Morakot the worst natural disaster to strike the island in half a century.

The Guardian:

More than 500 people have died in floods and mudslides unleashed in southern Taiwan by typhoon Morakot, the island’s president confirmed, as he came under increasing pressure over his handling of the disaster.

Ma Ying-jeou described it as the most severe damage to the island in half a century and asked foreign governments for prefabricated homes and helicopters capable of lifting heavy machinery.

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