China - Taiwan Province

Hundreds to remain entombed in Taiwan village

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TAIPEI, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Taiwan authorities will not attempt to recover the bodies of hundreds feared killed in a village by a mudslide this month, and will instead turn the site into a memorial park, a local leader said on Monday.

The T$100 million ($3.04 million) park, slated to open in a year, would sit above the landslide, which has been compared to a fallen mountainside, as a place to remember the aboriginal village, township chief Liu Chien-fang said.

"The village had a special character as a Pingpu district," Liu told Reuters, describing the local Austonesian ethnic group in the Kaohsiung county village of Hsiao Lin.

"The homes were special, likewise the local customs and habits. It's a shame nothing was left behind."

The official toll from typhoon Morakot stands at 291 dead and 387 missing, and the damage to agricultural production has been put at T$14.4 billion. It also plunged Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou into his worst crisis since being elected president in May 2008.

(Reporting by Ralph Jennings; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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