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3 trapped by Kaohsiung landslide: police

Rescue efforts have been hindered by heavy rains and strong currents rushing down the slope where the two-story house was located, and the search for the three missing persons had to be called off late in the afternoon, police said, adding that efforts would resume Thursday.

The first floor of the house in the southern city’s Yenchao District was completely buried by falling rocks and mud, according to police.

The three were believed to have been sleeping on the first floor when the landslide struck and pushed the house about 20 meters down the slope from its original site, police said.

The missing are Shih Fu-yen, 86; his wife Shih-Wu Nuan, 82; and their 50-year-old son Shih Chia-li, police said.

The house is the home of the elderly couple, and the son had arrived to take care of them ahead of the typhoon, police cited their family as saying.

Meanwhile in Keelung, 11 people had to be evacuated from a five-story residential building as a precautionary measure after the road next to it caved in heavy rains late Tuesday night, police said, adding no one was reported injured in the accident.

The foundation of the road was washed away by heavy rains and a neighbor was cited by the Central News Agency as saying that a motorcycle fell into an adjacent sewer as a result of the road collapse, which occurred at about 10 p.m.

A Keelung water department official said engineers had inspected the site Wednesday morning and they estimated the repair of the road would cost less than NT$2 million. But it would take about two months to complete repairs, the official was cited by the CNA as saying.

Although Megi was leaving Taiwan, 266 rivers and creeks around the island were still on high alert for landslides as of Wednesday afternoon because of continued downpours, according to the Soil and Water Conservation Bureau (SWCB) under the Council of Agriculture.

A total of 59 rivers and creeks were on red alert for landslides, while 207 others were on the lesser yellow alert, the SWCB said.

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) lifted the warning for Typhoon Megi at 5:30 p.m., but maintained warnings for heavy rainfall in eastern, central and southern parts of Taiwan.

The SWCB called on local governments to evacuate residents from areas that had been issued a red alert for landslides.