China - Taiwan Province

Taiwan: Typhoon-caused downpour leaves 23 dead, 16 injured, 13 missing

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Taipei (dpa) - Typhoon Mindulle-caused downpour has left at least 23 dead, 16 injured and 13 missing in Taiwan, with weather officials warning of more heavy rain until Friday.

The latest figures were reported by the country's Anti-Typhoon Centre on Tuesday.

More casualties were expected as hundreds of residents remained stranded in mountainous central Taiwan, where mudslides have swept away roads and bridges and left individuals without food and drinking water.

The military has employed helicopters to evacuate stranded mountain villagers and transport relief materials to the rain-drenched region.

Agriculture officials said Typhoon Mindulle and continuing rainfall has caused 5.1 billion Taiwan dollars (150 million U.S.) in farm damage.

Four counties in central and eastern Taiwan suffered the heaviest losses and qualify for state aid, said Chen Shih-hsien, from the Council of Agriculture. The agriculture damage included crops, fruits, poultry and fish ponds.

The crop devastation has led to a hike in vegetable prices, which have jumped 500 per cent since the storm hit.

The Council of Agriculture is importing 1,000 tons of fresh vegetables from neighbouring countries to meet the current shortage in Taipei markets. dpa de blg

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