About 400 people are believed to have died in the mudslides that struck Taiwan, and the death toll is expected to reach at least 500. The country’s president, Ma Ying-jeou, is asking officials to increase efforts for rescue and relief as reconstruction work begins. He said typhoon Morakot has caused the most devastation on the island in 50 years. The storm wrecked 7,000 homes, caused over $1.5 billion worth of damage, and wiped out 34 bridges and 253 sections of road, destruction that is severely hampering rescue efforts. Over 1,900 people are still stranded, and the army has given up any hope of rescuing the hundreds more believed to be buried under the mud.