TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Record rains from a powerful typhoon caused massive mud- and rockslides in Taiwan that buried a Buddhist temple and trapped vehicles on a highway, where one bus carrying 19 Chinese tourists was missing Friday.
The mudslide at the temple killed three people, and overall, 27 people were missing in Taiwan as Typhoon Megi swept toward southern China, where landfall is expected late Friday or Saturday. The storm earlier killed 26 people and damaged homes and crops in the Philippines.
Megi dumped a record 45 inches (114 centimeters) of rain in Taiwan's Ilan county over 48 hours. It had winds of 90 mph (145 kph) and was about 275 miles (440 kilometers) southeast of Hong Kong on Friday evening, the Hong Kong Observatory said.
Three people were killed at the White Cloud Temple in Suao city along the eastern coast when a mudslide buried the building, Taiwanese cable TV stations reported. Rescuers were using bulldozers to try to dig out six other people, Ilan county chief Lin Tsong-hsien said.
Two buses carrying Chinese tourists were on a six-mile (10-kilometer) stretch of a coastal highway in Ilan that was hit by at least seven rockslides Thursday night, Premier Wu Den-yih said. Nineteen people on one bus were rescued - five with light to moderate injuries - but the Taiwanese driver and the Chinese tour guide were still missing, Wu said.
There had been no contact with the 19 tourists aboard the other bus, he said.
TV news reported a 500-yard (500-meter) stretch of the highway had collapsed. The rockslides trapped about 30 vans, buses and cars, officials said.
Air force helicopters were searching for the missing bus and 340 other travelers cut off by the rockslides, Interior Minister Chiang Yi-hua said. Those 340 travelers were not in any immediate danger, officials said.
The storm dumped heavy rains throughout Taiwan, but Ilan, about 90 miles (150 kilometers) southeast of Taipei, was the hardest hit. Authorities said more than 2,500 residents had been evacuated. Broad swaths of farmland in the county were under many feet (several meters) of water. (AP)