Taiwan rescuers fight furious rivers, downpours

Torrential downpours, dense fog, rugged land and furious rivers have made rescue efforts in Taiwan increasingly difficult and risky in the wake of Typhoon Morakot.

Washed out roads and bridges rendered ground rescue operations in effect impossible as workers searched Thursday for stranded villagers in the central and southern regions of the island. Rescuers were required to search by helicopter, inflatable boats and zip-line mechanisms that balanced them over the muddy waters coursing below.

In some cases, food drops have been conducted over isolated villages tucked amid the rugged terrain as villagers required higher grounds to stay dry.

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