TAIPEI (AFP) – Torrential rains in Taiwan left 20 Chinese nationals unaccounted for Friday after their buses were trapped along a badly damaged highway, rescuers said.
One Chinese tour guide and a Taiwanese driver were missing after their bus was hit by mudslides, although their 21 passengers managed to escape, said the National Fire Agency.
Contact was lost with another bus carrying 19 Chinese tourists and two Taiwanese, the agency added.
About 400 people in 32 vehicles were stuck along the damaged road in northeastern Ilan county but there were no reports of injuries, officials said.
Taiwan’s weather bureau issued a warning about Typhoon Megi on Thursday as torrential rain caused landslides and interrupted railway traffic.
Although Megi — the strongest northwest Pacific storm since 1990 — was not expected to hit the island directly, the bureau warned it might bring over a metre (three feet) of rain in the north and northeast.
In worst-hit Ilan, flash flooding submerged streets and a railway and forced dozens of schools to shut down on Thursday.