TROPICAL Storm Chebi kills nine in Taiwan - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

TROPICAL Storm Chebi kills nine in Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) _ Patrol boats found two more dead crew members of a ship that sank off Taiwan's southern coast on Monday, bringing the confirmed death toll from Tropical Storm Chebi to nine.

Officials were still searching for 12 of the 23 crew members of the Belize-registered ``Kuangyan,'' a 5,300-ton vessel that went down Saturday near Tainan, said Meng Hsien-tao of the National Fire Administration. Seven crew members were confirmed dead and four were rescued.

Two other fishermen drowned after their boat sank off the outlying island of Matsu, Meng said.

Packing near typhoon-force winds, Tropical Storm Chebi skirted Taiwan's southern coast over the weekend, forcing the cancellation of domestic flights and closing mountain highways.

Initial estimates of damage to agriculture were about $4.2 million, the Council of Agriculture said.

Tropical storms and typhoons hit Taiwan frequently during the summer. A storm is upgraded to a typhoon when sustained winds reach 75 mph.
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