At least 48 people have died and 22 are listed as missing in Taiwan after Typhoon Nari brought the island's heaviest recorded rainfall and widespread flooding.
President Chen Shui-bian toured the worst affected areas on an amphibious armoured vehicle as more than 10,000 people were evacuated from sections of northern and central Taiwan.
Most of the victims were in the north of the island where Nari struck on Monday, but it remains over central and southern Taiwan.
The search must not stop until all the people classed as missing are found
Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian
The island's National Fire Administration (NFA) said victims, residents of Taipei and Keelung, were either buried by mudslides or washed away by the floods.
Rescuers are continuing to dig through mud and rocks which crashed into houses and more bodies are expected to be found.
Mr Chen said: "The search must not stop until all the people classed as missing are found."
The stock market was closed, ground and air traffic disrupted
and the mass rapid transport system in Taipei was paralysed.
A woman makes her way through a flooded intersection in central Taipei
Twenty-seven people died around Taipei, 10 in the northern
Keelung city, three in the southern Chiayi county, six in the
central county of Miaoli, and one each in the northern counties of
Hsinchu and Taoyuan.
Defence ministry spokesman Huang Suey-sheng said about 8,000 soldiers were deployed to help in the rescue and clean-up operations.
The evacuees were forced to take shelter as heavy downpours
continued to hit the island, the NFA said.
More than 650,000 households suffered power and water cuts,
and telephone lines to about 360,000 households in northern Taiwan
were also hit, it said.
The Central Weather Bureau said there had been up to 1,255
millimetres (about 50 inches) of rainfall in some areas in the past
Officials said rainfall on Monday of up to 800 millimetres in some places was the most in a single day since records began 70 years ago. That is more rain than normally falls in four months.
He said further torrential rains were expected although Nari was losing momentum and could be downgraded from a tropical storm into a depression in a day.
Many rivers in northern and central Taiwan remained swollen by continuing downpours on Tuesday.
"Heavy rains have been recorded around the island this morning as Typhoon Nari continues to hover around central Taiwan," said an official from Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau.
Taipei Deputy Mayor Ou Chin-teh warned that it would take months
to get the capital's metro system back on track. "As the system is
seriously flooded, it will be unable to resume full operations for
half a year," he said.
Massive waves also batter the coast of Taiwan
Officials hope to reopen schools and the stock market on Wednesday but expect hundreds of thousands of commuters in the greater Taipei area to face severe delays.
The city government has called in military help to keep Taipei
traffic running smoothly.
The floods hit a slowing economy already likely to suffer
fallout from the disruption caused to the US economy by last week's
But a professor at the National Taiwan University
of Science and Technology, Lin Wei-shong, downplayed the long-term impact.
"There might be a negative impact on the economy over the short
term, but it is not expected to emerge as a deadly blow because
major production lines were not damaged," he said.
Taiwan is traditionally typhoon prone but has been particularly hard hit this year.
Two months ago Typhoon Toraji struck central Taiwan causing landslides and flash floods which killed more than 100 people. It also caused widespread damage to agriculture and property.