台湾当局最新估计，在 “ 莫拉克 ” 台风中遭受灭顶之灾的高雄县甲仙乡小林村罹难人数约 380 人，加上此前已统计有超过 120 人死亡，台湾在此次风灾中的遇难人数估计已超过 500 人。
Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou estimated on Friday that more than 500 people had died in flooding and mudslides caused by Typhoon Morakot. Ma gave his estimate of the death toll, a jump from previous figures of over 100, at a security meeting, his aide said. Officials said about 300 may have died in a mudslide that levelled most of Hsiao Lin village in the south.
After days of dispatching helicopters to rescue survivors and distribute food in Hsiao Lin, authorities opened a road into the stricken district on Thursday. But it was now unlikely that anyone trapped since Monday in the landslide had survived.
"The county magistrate made a report that in his judgement about 300 were dead," an information official said.
"These are the conditions now. Specific numbers will depend on the army opening the road and sending people in."
Morakot has caused about T$30 billion ($910 million) in losses to agriculture and infrastructure and reconstruction is expected to cost about T$120 billion. The government spent about the same amount after a 1999 earthquake that killed 2,400 people.
The typhoon has knocked out 34 bridges and severed 253 segments of road in Taiwan, with repairs expected to take up to three years in the worst spots, the transportation authority said.
In Cishan, a storm-ravaged town of 41,000, both road bridges had collapsed, smashing houses and taking down cars. Residents jammed a footbridge which remained standing.
Rescuers used earth movers to clear mud from roads as hundreds of people cleaned homes or storefronts, heaving out water-logged possessions.
"My store has been closed for days because I figured no one could get to it," said Chen Chih-lu, who owns a furniture shop in Cishan. "My guess is 90 percent of us are digging out of the mud."
Outside Cishan, swathes of banana trees lay flat in the mud, testimony to agricultural losses totalling T$10 billion. Food prices soared by up to 50 percent and some staples were in short supply.
The government will spend T$3 billion to help farmers recover in the coming weeks, an agriculture official said.