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Toll rises after deadly typhoon

A resident inspects cars hit by a container.
A resident inspects cars hit by a container.

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Scores of South Koreans died in the powerful typhoon.
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SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) -- At least 87 people died and 28 are still missing in South Korea after the most powerful typhoon on record there blasted the peninsula.

The death toll continued to climb as rescue workers reconnected communications and electricity to the worst-hit areas in southern and eastern parts of the peninsula.

Tens of thousands were involved in the recovery process, and shifted through mud and rubble in search of bodies.

In the worst single case, flash floodwaters engulfed a small building in the southern city of Masan. At least 12 people died after being trapped in the basement floors.

Prime Minister Goh Kun chaired an emergency cabinet meeting at the weekend to discuss rescue operations and promised tax relief for the victims. Material damage from Maemi is expected to run into the tens of millions of dollars.

Shares in some of South Korea's top exporters plunged Monday as financial markets opened. (Seoul counts typhoon's cost)

Packing winds of up to 214 kph (134 mph), Typhoon Maemi cut power to 1.4 million homes, sank 18 ships, and paralyzed road, rail and air transport.

The country's main port of Pusan was severely hit by the storm, which toppled and twisted steel-made container lifting cranes.

The typhoon struck as South Koreans celebrated the three-day Thanksgiving festival of Chusok.

Maemi headed back out to the Sea of Japan on Saturday, where it weakened to a tropical storm.

The country's capital city Seoul, in the northwest of the country, was unaffected by the storm.

South Korea is often hit by typhoons at this time of year. Last September, Typhoon Rusa killed more than 100 people.

-- CNN Correspondent Sohn Jie-Ae contributed to this report


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