TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou says floods and mudslides unleashed by Typhoon Morakot last weekend have killed about 500 people.
Ma says Morakot has inflicted the most severe damage on the island in 50 years.
Ma made the remarks Friday at a national security conference, the first he called since taking office 15 months ago.
He called on officials to beef up rescue and relief operations.
Typhoon Morakot dumped more than 80 inches (2 meters) of rain on the island last weekend. A total of 15,400 villagers have been
ferried to safety, and rescuers are struggling to save 1,900 people
still stranded at remote villages.