China - Taiwan Province

Taiwan typhoon death toll climbs to 136

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TAIPEI, Aug 19, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Taiwan's death toll from typhoon Morakot climbed to 136 as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, not including the 523 villagers buried alive by mudslides, local disaster response authorities said.

Morakot also left 386 missing and 45 injured. It was the worst typhoon to hit the island in nearly five decades, causing havoc across the central and southern regions.

More than 24,000 people have been evacuated, and nearly 6,000 people are housed in emergency shelter areas.

Aid from the Chinese mainland and the international society poured in as the death toll continued to climb in the past week.

As of Tuesday, the mainland had sent two batches of relief goods to the island, including prefabricated houses, sleeping bags, blankets and sterilizers.

Organizations and individuals on the mainland had donated more than 1.1 billion New Taiwan Dollars (about 33 million U.S. dollars) to Taiwan by Tuesday.

Morakot cost the island more than 1.3 billion New Taiwan Dollars in damages to agriculture. The three counties that suffered most were Pingtung, Tainan and Kaohsiung.