Taiwan typhoon toll rises to 12

Slow-moving Typhoon Sinlaku, which hit Taiwan over the weekend, dumping up to 1 400mm of rain in some areas, killed 12 people and left 10 missing in a tunnel collapse, mudslides and raging rivers, officials said.

The typhoon hit Taiwan on Saturday with wind gusts as high as 162km/h.

Twenty people were injured and thousands evacuated.

The victims included seven people killed when their cars were crushed by a tunnel that collapsed under the weight of a massive landslide in central Taiwan on Monday

Authorities said rescuers were still searching for five people missing after a section of a 600m bridge over the Tachia River in central Taiwan collapsed under heavy rain on Sunday. The body of one driver has been recovered.

“The worst conditions now are in the mountains, where you can’t get in or out,” said Chang Deng-wang, disaster management director in Nantou county. “Every village has a road cut off.”

Sinlaku, downgraded to a tropical storm, was centred at sea 525km north of Keelung on the northern tip of Taiwan on Tuesday afternoon, the Central Weather Bureau said. Moving north-east, Sinlaku will likely make landfall in southern Japan by Friday.

Typhoons regularly hit China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Japan in the summer, gathering strength from the warm waters of the Pacific or the South China Sea before weakening over land.—Reuters, Sapa-AP

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