Taiwan begins to rescue villagers

CHISHAN: Taiwan's military on Wednesday began a helicopter rescue of more than 700 people who were found alive in three villages flattened by landslides, a senior military officer told AFP.

"We have found around 700 people alive in three villages last night and 26 more this morning. We are deploying 25 helicopters to evacuate them," said Major-General Richard Hu.

At least 63 people were killed and 61 others were missing after floods ravaged Taiwan over the weekend, the government said Wednesday.

The missing included three rescue personnel on board a helicopter that crashed into a river in heavy fog, officials said.