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One body identified, 25 missing in Suhua Highway disaster

2010/10/24 17:27:01

Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) The body of one Taiwanese woman had beenfound and identified as of Sunday, while 25 others remainedunaccounted for in the Suhua Highway disaster, according to the YilanDistrict Prosecutors Office.

The woman was identified by her family as 54-year-old LiuYun-jun, a special education teacher who was lauded by her colleaguesas a compassionate and selfless individual. Her body was found nearthe 112.8 km mark of the highway at around 9 am, three days afterTyphoon Megi thrashed northeastern Taiwan.

The death toll as of that day stood at 13, with 25, including a21-person Chinese tour group from Guangdong Province and Tien Yuan,a Chinese tour leader working for the Hong Tai Travel Co., still reported missing.Military personnel and rescue teams had been workingfor nearly three days non-stop to comb the area for the missing. The government said the operation will not stop until all measures have been taken.

A day earlier, a delegation from China representing the missingtour group arrived in Taiwan to help with the search effort.

"All I want is to find my daughter as soon as possible, hopefullytoday," said Tien's mother. Tien's husband reportedly went inside thedisaster zone to help locate his missing wife, but to no avail.

The searchers had found some broken vehicle parts suspected tobelong to the bus used by the Hong Tai group and some reports saidpersonal belongings such shoes and shirts had also been found.

The heavy rain brought by Typhoon Megi also fiercely batterednearby residential areas in the county. Thousands of homes in SuaoTownship lost power and hundreds of hectares of crops were destroyed.

The Yilan County government has put out a call for help askingthe public to donate goods such as diapers for children and adults,disposable underwear, oatmeal and personal hygiene kits.

Several non-government organizations such as the BuddhistCompassionate Relief Tzu Chi Foundation and World Vision Taiwan havedispatched volunteers to help with the massive clean-up work.

The latest typhoon-related agricultural losses in Taipei,Hualien, Yilan, and Taitung counties reported by the Council ofAgricultural amounted to NT$58.56 million.

(By Jenny W. Hsu and Chou Yung-chieh)