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Deadly mudslides and flooding hit Taiwan

Central and southern Taiwan are on high alert for mudslides

TAIPEI, Taiwan | June 12, 2012

Thousands of people were forced to evacuate as torrential rain lashed Taiwan, triggering flooding and deadly mudslides that killed five people, officials said

Efforts to evacuate tourists, workers and residents Sunday from the rain-plagued region were disrupted by a mudslide that closed a section of highway, leaving 40 buses stranded in traffic for nearly 13 hours. They finally made it off the mountain early Monday.

Pear farmer Chen Yung-hsiang and an unidentified worker died Monday when a mudslide swallowed their shelter in the hills of Nantou county. Chen's wife was saved by rescue crews but suffered injuries, Taipei Times reported.

Two more people died Monday night when a forest office was hit by a mudslide in Taichung city. Another person is believed to have drowned early Tuesday in Taoyuan county, Xinhua said.

Central and southern Taiwan are on high alert for mudslides.

Heavy rain was falling Tuesday in Taipei and Zinbei, and was expected to last until Saturday.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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