Page last updated at 10:44 GMT, Sunday, 20 July 2008 11:44 UK

Taiwan storm death toll increases

Residents in Wuri, Taichung county are rescued on Friday after Typhoon Kalmaegi brought flooding to Taiwan
Most of those killed died in landslides or were swept away by flood waters

The number of people killed in flooding and landslides caused by Tropical Storm Kalmaegi has climbed to at least 18, Taiwanese officials have said.

At least another six remain missing, disaster relief officials said.

The storm lashed central and southern Taiwan with high winds and heavy rain on Thursday and Friday before weakening and moving on to southern China.

The local media have raised questions about an apparent lack of preparedness on the part of Taiwan's authorities.

Chinese state media reported that the government had evacuated hundreds of thousands of people from coastal provinces ahead of the storm's arrival in China.

The first typhoon to hit Taiwan this year, Kalmaegi initially packed winds of up to 90 km/h (56mph), but quickly lost power and was downgraded to a tropical storm.

In Tainan county, water supplies were cut off because of the heavy rain.

Kalmaegi means "seagull" in Korean.

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